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ICYMI: Germany Needs to Step up Against Russia and Start Pulling its Weight in Ukraine

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) was spoke on Fox News and penned an op-ed urging Germany, Europe’s economic leader, to fulfill its promises to shore up Ukraine’s defenses against Russia’s attacks. Kennedy also emphasized the need for Germany to become less dependent on Russian energy.

Below are key excerpts from Kennedy’s piece:

“During his recent visit to the United States, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz promised that his country would soon begin spending 2% of its annual budget on defense.”

. . .

“By every measure, Germany—the economic leader of Europe—is failing to pull its weight. Its current spending by share of GDP wouldn’t even place Germany in the top 10 nations in terms of financial support for Ukraine.

“Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland have all provided more than double what Germany has given to Ukraine by share of GDP. But countries don’t need proximity to Russia to outspend Germany.”

. . .

“Not only has Germany been slow to pull out its pocketbook, but it appears to be in no rush to send weapons, either. Germany delayed sending its Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine for weeks while haggling with the Biden administration. Scholz would only agree to send the tanks if the United States first committed to sending its M1 Abrams.

“Before moving an inch, Germany demands the United States move a mile. And so far, the Biden administration appears to be playing along.

“Germany would be wise to consider where it was one year ago. As Putin’s men rapidly approached Kyiv, Germany’s military was in shambles.”

. . .

“Chancellor Scholz called the moment a turning point for Germany. He promised to increase defense spending by 2% while also recruiting an additional 30,000 men and women to join the Bundeswehr by 2025.”

. . .

“But its defense spending has hardly peaked above 1.5 percent. Experts doubt it will reach the goal of recruiting 30,000. And the Very High Readiness Task Force still lacks the personnel or equipment to deploy within 72 hours.”

. . .

“Germany had foolishly placed its energy security in Russia’s hands in the years leading up to the war in Ukraine. In theory, Germany buying natural gas from Russia was supposed to endear Putin to the west. In practice, all it did was make Germany dependent on Russia.

“And when Russia started the war, it wasn’t Germany that turned away Russian energy; Russia flipped the switch and left Germany in the cold.”

. . .

“But Germany didn’t learn its lesson. In the same way it relied on Russia for energy, Germany is relying on everyone else to support Ukraine and keep Putin at bay.”

. . .

“It’s time for our friends in Germany to deliver on their promises to Ukraine and start footing the bill for their own defense. With a full year of war already gone, Germany must start acting like the European leader it claims to be.”

Source: John Kennedy