13:09 17.02.2024

Cost of supporting Ukraine today, in future, much less than possible Russian victory – Scholz

4 min read
Cost of supporting Ukraine today, in future, much less than possible Russian victory – Scholz

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has declared his constant support for Ukraine in its war with Russia and plans to build it up, calling on his EU and NATO partners to do the same, since the price of such support is many times less than the price of a possible Russian victory.

"Let's do enough, because we all know what a Russian victory in Ukraine would mean... The political and financial price we would have to pay then would be many times greater than the entire cost of our support for Ukraine today and in the future," he said in a speech at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday.

Scholz stressed that a Russian victory would also mean the end of Ukraine as a free, independent and democratic state, the destruction of the European peace order and the encouragement of all autocrats around the world to rely on violence to resolve conflicts.

The German Chancellor stated that Russia has been preparing its army for this war for many years and has developed new dangerous weapons systems at all levels, its economy has long been operating in war mode, and despite huge losses, the Russian armed forces retain significant strength, and Putin sends them to the front more and more soldiers.

"Two years after the start of the war, we must all ask ourselves whether we are doing enough to make it clear to Putin that we are ready for the long haul," Scholz said.

At the same time, he noted that it is still true that NATO does not want a conflict with Russia, and the alliance will not refrain from sending its soldiers to Ukraine.

“Putin and the military in Moscow must understand that we, the strongest military alliance in the world, are capable of defending every square meter of our alliance’s territory. To do this, it is important that we continue to strengthen NATO’s European pillar, including in the area of deterrence,” he said.

“No matter how Russia’s war in Ukraine ends, no matter how the upcoming elections on both sides of the Atlantic turn out, one thing is absolutely clear: we Europeans must be much more concerned about our own security now and in the future,” Scholz added.

He said efforts over the past 24 months highlight this, and it is important to preserve the transatlantic alliance for the sake of freedom, democracy, the rule of law and respect for the dignity of every person.

Germany has almost doubled its military assistance to Ukraine - to more than EUR 7 billion, and obligations in the coming years will amount to EUR6 billion, and called on other European countries to follow Germany's example, he said.

Scholz acknowledged that this is not easy in Germany and elsewhere, as there are critical voices about whether the money should be spent elsewhere, and Moscow is fueling such doubts with targeted disinformation campaigns and propaganda on social media.

"It is true that this war in the center of Europe demands a lot from us. Yes, we feel that the money we spend on our security now and in the future is not enough elsewhere. But I also say that without security everything the rest is nothing,” he emphasized.

“The world will not live according to the will of Moscow, because we will not allow this,” Scholz concluded.

At the same time, the Chancellor did not answer the question whether Germany will supply Taurus missiles to Ukraine.

"This is a strange question. Germany will spend $7 billion this year to help Ukraine defend itself. We need to increase production, especially of ammunition. We must provide maintenance for these weapons. Then, step by step, we will decide what we will do at the right time," Scholz said.