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Member of Scholz's party calls for NATO to defend Ukraine's skies from its own territory

Saturday, 18 May 2024, 12:55
Member of Scholz's party calls for NATO to defend Ukraine's skies from its own territory
An F-16 fighter jet belonging to the Royal Danish Air Force. Photo: Getty Images

Voices have begun to be heard in Chancellor Olaf Scholz's Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) in favour of Western troops taking part in defending Ukraine from Russian airstrikes.

Source: Joe Weingarten, SPD MP specialising in defence matters, in a comment to Spiegel, as reported by European Pravda

Details: The MP is calling for help for Ukraine's Armed Forces to repel Russian air attacks, including with German support.


"In the current military situation, I believe it is necessary and responsible to deploy German anti-aircraft missile troops on NATO territory on the border with Ukraine in order to protect the airspace over Ukraine's west – for example, with Patriot systems," Weingarten said in an interview with Spiegel.

"We must do everything possible to ensure that Ukraine can withstand Russian attacks," added the Social Democrat, who is a member of the Bundestag's Defence Committee.

Weingarten explained that, given the large-scale Russian air attacks, it is not enough to supply air defence systems and ammunition to the frontline regions. The MP noted that the limited resources of Ukrainian air defence could be used more effectively if NATO countries ensured the security of the airspace in the west of the war-torn country.


Weingarten stressed that this does not require deploying Western troops in Ukraine.

"We need to advocate for such support and participation from Ukraine's closest neighbours, especially Poland, Slovakia and Hungary," the German politician said.

However, Rolf Mützenich, the leader of the SPD parliamentary faction, has recently spoken out clearly against NATO's protection of Ukraine's airspace. "The SPD parliamentary faction will not agree to this," Mützenich said.

This is the first time SPD MPs have made such a demand. "Ukraine is also defending German freedom, and we cannot abandon it [Ukraine] now," Weingarten warned.

His colleague in the parliamentary group, Andreas Schwarz, describes air defence as the Ukrainian army's Achilles' heel. "Ukraine does not have enough defence systems and missiles to protect important infrastructure and the population," Schwarz says.

Therefore, he says, alternatives must be considered: "This also includes the idea of NATO member states providing defence for Ukraine."

MPs from the other coalition parties, the Greens and the Freie Demokratische Partei (FDP or Free Democratic Party), have previously expressed sympathy for the proposal to defend Ukraine's western regions from NATO territory.

The German federal government rejects the possibility of NATO's participation in Ukraine's air defence.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis believes that Western countries could send military instructors to Ukraine to train Ukrainian troops on the ground and protect them from Russian attacks with additional air defence systems.

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