What to do if the United States ends its military aid to Ukraine? After Scholz's visit to the US, the debate on this matter is gaining momentum.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) approaches the viewer with a group of employees and a serious face;  In the background you can see the White House.

Concerned about Ukraine: Scholz in Washington on Friday Photo: Michael Kappeler/dpa

SEDAN taz | Such praise from the opposition leader is rare. “It was important to hear that US President Biden and Chancellor Scholz expressed their support for Ukraine so clearly,” said Friedrich Merz at the sunday photo on file. “It is also vital for the freedom and security of Europe that Ukraine, which is under attack by Russia, continues to receive support with equipment, weapons and money,” added the leader of the CDU-CSU parliamentary group. Many people in Germany see it that way.

On Saturday morning Scholz returned to Berlin from his visit to Washington. There he met with US President Joe Biden and senior members of the US Congress and campaigned for more military aid for Ukraine. For months, Republicans have been blocking Biden's efforts to get Congress to approve billions of dollars in new aid for kyiv. After his White House conversation, Scholz warned: “We shouldn't talk about it: US support is essential to the question of whether Ukraine will be able to defend its own country.”

But Germany is already thinking about how to react to the worst-case scenario: the end of American aid and, even worse, a new victory for Donald Trump in the US presidential elections in November. Not only would it prevent money and weapons from being sent to Ukraine, but it could even disintegrate NATO and make a corrupt deal with Putin.

The blocking of aid to Ukraine in the US Congress makes it clear that “in Europe we are even more obliged to guarantee our own security,” says Green Party politician Anton Hofreiter. “Now we have to invest much faster to equip Ukraine with sufficient weapons and ammunition and to put ourselves on the defensive,” said the president of the European Committee in the Bundestag. The debt brake is therefore a “security risk” in view of the war in Ukraine, the Funke media group's newspaper quoted him as saying on Sunday.

Buy ammunition abroad?

SPD politician Michael Roth said Frankfurter Allgemeine Sunday newspaper, EU aid promises “would barely be enough” if the United States “completely failed.” Therefore, the possibility of “financing the purchase of ammunition in the US and other non-EU countries” should be considered, said the chairman of the Bundestag's Foreign Affairs Committee.

With a view to war in Ukraine, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is now calling for arms production to be stepped up in Europe. Europe must prepare for a “possible decades-long confrontation” with Russia, he told world on sunday. “Since Russia is directing its entire economy toward war, we also have to do more for our security,” Stoltenberg said.

The goal should be for the German armed forces to be “war-ready” within five years, says Bundeswehr Inspector General Carsten Breuer. “That doesn't mean there will be war. But it is possible,” he is quoted as saying. world on sunday. At the same time, Breuer admitted that the Bundeswehr could only make some of the promised capabilities available to NATO later than planned.

Scholz lays the first stone of a munitions factory

The United States and Germany are by far Ukraine's most important arms suppliers in its defense against Russia. Scholz estimates the value of the military equipment delivered and promised by Germany at more than 30 billion euros. The United States estimates its military aid at 44 billion dollars (about 41 billion euros).

Since the beginning of the year, the Chancellor has been trying to convince her EU partners to do more for Ukraine, especially for the economically strong countries, France, Spain and Italy. So far with moderate success.

On Monday, together with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, Scholz laid the foundation stone for the construction of a new ammunition plant for the arms company Rheinmetall in Unterlüß, Lower Saxony. In future, 200,000 rounds of artillery ammunition, as well as explosives and rocket motors, will be produced there each year for the German armed forces and NATO partners, but also for Ukraine.