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Germans fear potential Ukraine conflict escalation – Scholz

Allowing Moscow succeed would endanger peace, the German chancellor has claimed

Many Germans are concerned that the Russia-Ukraine conflict could escalate further, leading to Berlin’s direct involvement, Chancellor Olaf Scholz told parliament on Thursday.

However, the German leader argued that the policy of arming Kiev and allowing it to use Western-made weapons to strike deep inside Russian territory must continue, if only as a means to bring about peace.

Moscow has repeatedly stated that arms sent to Kiev, and the authorization of their use on Russian territory, are major causes of conflict escalation.

“Many… citizens fear that the war could escalate further, that security and peace could also be at risk here,” Scholz said while delivering a cabinet statement on security to lawmakers. “Worrying about peace is not naive,” he added.

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Scholz said he “certainly” respects public concerns and takes them “seriously” but that “as chancellor I am responsible for ensuring that no child born in Germany has to experience a war in our country. It is an absolute priority for me.”

The German leader then used those concerns to justify his government’s current stance. 

“Peace today means that we support Ukraine,” he claimed, adding that Berlin is “doing this with great determination.” A victory for Moscow over Kiev on the battlefield would revive a “dangerous principle… which had been plunging Europe into disaster for centuries,” namely the principle of “moving borders by force,” the chancellor claimed.

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Germany will not allow this, Scholz pledged. He then spoke about the Russian troops “opening a new front” in Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkov region, claiming that Moscow’s strikes in the area served as a justification for giving Ukraine the right to use Western-supplied weapons to “defend itself” by striking over the border.

Moscow launched its operation in Kharkov region in early May in response to the regular shelling of civilians in Russian border regions by Kiev’s troops.

The chancellor’s remarks came days after hundreds of protesters marched through Berlin, demanding the government stop supplying arms to Kiev and “taking orders from Washington.”

Moscow has warned that Western arms supplies to Kiev will only prolong the conflict. The Kremlin has also accused NATO of provoking a new “round of tensions” with its recent decision on Ukraine’s use of Western-supplied weapons.

In May, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that using long-range weapons against Russia would have “serious consequences” for the West.


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