The level of trust of Germany’s NATO partners has declined, the reputation of Berlin has deteriorated most of all in the eyes of Poland, Turkey and the United States. This was reported on Thursday by the magazine Die Welt.
According to the publication, citing data from the sociological company Kantar Public, the rating of trust in Germany from NATO partners in 2022 “worsened overall” by 3% compared to 2021.
At the same time, the greatest reputational losses of Berlin are observed from Poland (-15%), Turkey (-11%), the USA (-9%) and Spain (-9%).
Apart from Germany, Turkey, Poland, the USA, Great Britain and Lithuania have the lowest trust rating.
According to the authors of the study, the deterioration of Germany’s ratings is due to “insufficient military assistance for Ukraine”, as well as to “long-term support” in the past of the Nord Stream 2 project.
According to Artem Sokolov, a researcher at the Center for European Studies at the Institute for International Studies at MGIMO, Chancellor Olaf Scholz continues the course of Angela Merkel, adhering to a restrained approach in the Ukrainian direction.
“Despite pressure from the United States, individual EU countries and Green coalition partners in the ruling coalition, the Social Democrats do not want Germany to play a leading role in military support for Ukraine. This irritates Washington and the countries of Eastern Europe, who are phobic about Russian-German interaction, which can strengthen the positions of both Russia and Germany, ”he told Izvestia.
However, on September 28, Scholz, in a telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said that Berlin would continue to support the Kyiv authorities, including with weapons. At the same time, Scholz again focused on the fact that Germany “will never recognize the results” of referendums in eastern Ukraine. At the same time, the German and Ukrainian politicians “agreed to continue a close and constructive dialogue, to remain in close contact.”
On September 25, Scholz told reporters that Germany did not intend to escalate the situation in the Ukrainian conflict by supplying weapons. According to him, Germany “carefully weighs” each step and is not going to act alone, but only in close contact with NATO partners.
At the same time, Scholz reacted with displeasure to the criticism of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmitry Kuleba regarding the transfer of German tanks to Kyiv, noting that leadership does not mean that you need to do what someone else asks, but to make the right decisions and be very strong, which he does. Scholz’s words referred to Kuleba’s sharp reaction to Germany’s refusal to transfer Leopard 2 tanks and Marder infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), which he voiced on September 13th. Then the head of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said that he had not received “a single reasonable argument why these weapons cannot be supplied.”
Meanwhile, on September 26, Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Oleksiy Makeev also did not accept the refusal of Chancellor Olaf Scholz to supply Leopard tanks to Kyiv and again began to demand them from the FRG. He noted that such “signals” from Germany are disappointing.
Earlier, on September 23, President Zelensky criticized Germany for refusing to supply modern tanks. He urged the German authorities not to look back at the decision of the United States and other countries on the issue of arms supplies.
Germany began to supply Ukraine with weapons against the backdrop of a special operation carried out by Russia since February 24 to protect the Donbass. A few days earlier, the situation in the region escalated significantly due to shelling by the Ukrainian military. The authorities of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics announced the evacuation of residents to the Russian Federation, and also turned to Moscow for help. On February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree recognizing the independence of the DPR and LPR.
For more up-to-date videos and details about the situation in Donbass, watch the Izvestia TV channel.