TEHRAN (Iran News) –After intense pressure from Western allies, Germany finally agreed to send advanced tanks to Ukraine. Now the issue of sending warplanes has divided NATO even further.
Some NATO leaders have said that they are open to the idea, while others have refused to entertain any more escalation.
Berlin has once again rejected any such delivery while implying that some parties in NATO are trying to provide more advanced weapon systems than others.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has toughened up his government’s rejection of any demands by Kyiv to supply Ukraine with fighter jets following the fiasco that ended up with Berlin’s agreement to deliver its Leopard battle tanks.
President Joe Biden has also said the United States would not provide F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.
Speaking to reporters at the White House, Biden said he was opposed to supplying American fighter jets to Ukraine, as Kyiv expands its list of weaponry.
“No,” he said when asked if he was in favor of sending F-16s or others. His refusal to send F-16 fighters come as the U.S., Germany and other countries have agreed to boost the Ukrainian arsenal by providing heavy battle tanks.
There isn’t just a split in the NATO military alliance, but also in the U.S. foreign policy elite.
Analysts have pointed out that key advisors to the Pentagon have come out saying that it is in America’s interests that the war be stopped sooner than later so that the United States can concentrate on its next area of conflict, which is of much greater interest, that is containing China.
Victoria Nuland, the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, made it quite clear in her remarks to Congress during a testimony a couple of days ago that her department understands the fragility of the Ukrainian military position.
Other statements made by Nuland and others have been seen by analysts as U.S. foreign policy makers are at odds with each other on how to move forward with the crisis instigated by Washington.
The ouster of Ukrainian officials over corruption scandals has renewed questions about how the government in Kyiv is addressing concerns about U.S. military aid, which has been shipped to the tune of tens of billions of dollars.
Analysts believe that the war may be gearing up for a significant escalation in the coming months and NATO warplanes would increase Kyiv’s power, with its own air force significantly depleted after nearly a year of war.
In an interview with a German daily newspaper, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said “the question of combat aircraft does not arise at all … I can only advise against entering into a constant competition to outbid each other when it comes to weapons systems.”
“If, as soon as a decision has been made, the next debate starts in Germany, this does not look very serious and shakes the confidence of the citizens in government decisions,” Scholz told Tagesspiegel. “Such debates should not be conducted for reasons of domestic political profiling. It is important to me now that all those who have announced their intention to supply battle tanks to Ukraine do so,” he added.
French President Emmanuel Macron has said Paris would not rule out providing fighter jets to Ukraine but has warned against the risk of escalation in the conflict.
Following talks with Holland’s Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Macron declared that “nothing is excluded in principle.”
Rutte, for his part, has said he is also open to the idea of sending U.S.-made Dutch F-16s to Ukraine.
“There is no taboo but it would be a big step,” said Rutte.
Any arms delivery “must not weaken the capacity of the French armed forces,” Macron pointed out, adding that France would have to be confident that the weapons would not be used to strike inside Russia, which would significantly escalate the war.
At the same time, NATO members are wary of sending further advanced weapons to Ukraine at the risk of entering into a direct confrontation with Russia.
Many say this is what left Germany dithering over sending its battle tanks to the warzone as it did not want to appear as the warmonger in the conflict.
Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has said that Kyiv was in talks with allies about the delivery of warplanes, but revealed that some NATO members have a “conservative” attitude on arms deliveries.
Advocates of a peaceful resolution to the war have slammed the delivery of tens of billions of dollars’ worth of weapons to prolong the war in eastern Ukrainian territories.
Fighting has continued at key points along the long front as Russian forces sought to expand their hold on territory in the Donetsk region.
These are the same eastern regions that have witnessed deadly fighting between armed ethnic Russians and the Ukrainian military since 2014, killing some 14,000 people before the war began in February 2022.
With the failure of the Minsk agreements to end the fighting and the U.S.-led NATO military alliance expanding on Russian borders, Moscow dispatched troops into the ongoing battle in what the Kremlin described as a “special military operation”.
Many have also highlighted NATO and the U.S.’s failure to address Moscow’s security guarantees in the months leading up to the war which erupted on 24 February 2022.
With Ukraine’s supplies of artillery munitions heavily depleted, France and Australia announced on Monday a deal to jointly produce 155 mm shells for Kyiv’s forces.
“Several thousand 155 mm shells will be manufactured jointly,” French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu said.
Meanwhile, while in Seoul, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called on South Korea to “step up” military support for Ukraine, calling on the country to reconsider its policy of not exporting weapons to countries in conflict.
There is an “urgent need for more ammunition,” Stoltenberg said.
NATO’s call for more military support for Ukraine comes despite Moscow calling Western shipments of arms to the country a blatant provocation. Russia says the move is extremely dangerous and will escalate the conflict and suffering of Ukrainians.
Analysts say Western governments and mainstream media are lying when they claim the world is united against Russia.
From the 193 countries in the world, about 30 have imposed sanctions on Russia or send military hardware to Ukraine.
This essentially means the vast majority of the world is opposed to the West’s position on Russia when it comes to the Ukraine war.
NATO not only has asked South Korea but also some countries in Latin America.
This suggests that NATO members are running short of weapons. Experts say countries like Canada, the UK, France and Germany have almost emptied their own stockpiles, which is why NATO is calling on South Korea and certain Latin American countries to send weapons.
The other question is whether the NATO chief has the authority to demand from other sovereign countries to become a party to the war.
NATO has no right whatsoever to call on other countries to get involved or send weapons to a warzone.
Some NATO critics say Ukraine is set to lose the war and Stoltenberg is making attempts to reshape international approach toward the conflict by turning global opinion against Moscow.
Polls in European countries have indicated more people want an end to the war as they foot the bill for their government spending on a conflict that has seen inflation hit record levels on the continent.
- source : Tehrantimes