BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Olaf Scholz dismissed criticism on Sunday that his country was not playing a leading role in Western efforts to provide Ukraine with heavy weapons to help it fend off a Russian invasion, saying he preferred caution over hasty decisions.
Schulz is under pressure at home and abroad to supply Ukraine with heavy weapons such as tanks and howitzers and support an immediate European Union ban on energy imports from Russia to deprive President Vladimir Putin of hard currency to help finance the war.
“I make my decisions quickly and in coordination with our partners. I consider hasty moves or unusual German efforts to be a moot issue,” Schulz told Bild am Sonntag newspaper in an interview.
In a change of approach, Germany agreed on April 26 to send Gibbard anti-aircraft tanks to Ukraine, a move supported by 55 percent of Germans who said in a poll that Europe’s largest economy should supply Ukraine with such weapons.
But the decision did not help change the public image of Schulz as indecisive and lacking in leadership. An opinion poll published by the newspaper showed that 54% are not satisfied with his handling of the crisis, and support for him has fallen to 32%.