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Germany must treat Ukraine like Israel – Kiev

Germany has a moral responsibility for the future of Ukraine and is therefore obliged to sell Kiev arms so the country can defend itself against purported Russian aggression, its ambassador to Berlin has claimed.

Speaking as part of an interview with Funke media group published on Monday, Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Andrey Melnik said, “we call on the [German] government to abandon its current position, which from the point of view of morality is absolutely unnecessary, and urgently provide Ukraine with the necessary defensive weapons. We have the right to self-defense.”

At present, Berlin does not supply arms to countries where there are military conflicts. The Eastern European nation has seen bloody internal fighting since the 2014 Maidan, which saw the government toppled by violent street protests, with clashes escalating in the Donbass region in recent months.

Melnik said the government’s refusal to provide arms “is causing great discontent in Ukrainian society and could have serious consequences for bilateral relations.”

According to the ambassador, Germany bears the same responsibility to Ukraine as it has to Israel, due to the country’s actions in WWII, and urged Berlin to “work more actively” on Kiev’s hopes to ascend into the EU and NATO. 

However, responding later on Monday to Melnik’s request for Berlin to supply Kiev weapons, Germany’s Cabinet of Ministers said in a statement that military force will not help resolve the conflict in Ukraine, urging all parties to find a “political” solution.

The remarks come amid concerns from Western leaders that Moscow could be planning to launch a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Reports of Russian troops amassing at the border as a precursor to an offensive have led to consternation in the West in recent weeks. Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov, however, has repeatedly rejected the allegations, describing them as “groundless,” and manifestations of “hysteria.”

READ MORE: Russia beefing up military on Ukraine’s border – Janes

At the end of last month, Berlin’s new foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, told Germany’s DPA news agency that “further military escalation will not bring Ukraine more security,” when asked about whether the country had plans to sell large numbers of weapons to the former Soviet republic.

In December, German tabloid Bild claimed that former Chancellor Angela Merkel used the country’s veto within the structure of NATO to block the US-led military bloc from supplying weapons to Ukraine. The report came shortly after Melnik said that Kiev should not expect to receive arms from Berlin under its new leader, Olaf Scholz.

“This is very disappointing because right now the moment of truth has come for us, the time has come to understand who is a true friend, not only in words but also in deeds,” he told online publication ZN.

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