Zelensky laments need to ‘convince’ Germany to help Ukraine

BERLIN – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described his relationship to Germany as up and down in an interview with Spiegel, saying he was “constantly having to convince” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to help Ukraine for the sake of Europe.

“I have to exert pressure to help Ukraine and constantly convince him that this help is not for us but for Europeans,” Mr Zelensky told Spiegel.

“Our relationship to Germany goes in waves, it is up and down.”

The Ukrainian president said he was grateful Germany had sent IRIS-T air defences systems which he said had saved lives but that the debate over sending tanks had put the relationship back in a “difficult phase”.

Even prior to Germany’s decision in late January to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, Germany was the second biggest donor of military hardware to Ukraine after the United States, according to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

But the time needed for decisions on sending equipment, including IRIS-II air defence systems and Marder infantry fighting vehicles, has prompted criticism from some allies.

Mr Scholz has criticised public competition among some countries over who can deliver more and better weapons, saying decisions must be made confidentially and communicated together.

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