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Dispute over arms deliveries: Lindner accuses Union of playing a dangerous game

Dispute over arms deliveries
Lindner accuses Union of dangerous play

The Union faction wants the Bundestag to vote on the delivery of heavy weapons to Ukraine. The head of the Liberals claims that the CDU and CSU are only concerned with damaging the government. Lindner wants to deliver weapons of war to Ukraine – under certain conditions.

The FDP chairman Christian Lindner has sharply criticized the Union in the Bundestag for its planned application for the delivery of heavy weapons to Ukraine. He accused her of a “dangerous game” at the FDP federal party conference. “With a current initiative to deliver arms, an attempt is obviously being made to cause difficulties for the governing coalition and thus also to destabilize the government as a whole,” said Lindner. The largest opposition faction wants to have this voted on next week if possible and is also hoping for the approval of coalition politicians from the Greens and the FDP, who have spoken out in favor of arms deliveries.

“To put it bluntly: In times of war in Europe, I have absolutely no sympathy for this form of partisan political maneuvering. We need a government that is able to act and that makes the necessary decisions for our country.” The Federal Finance Minister was connected from Washington, where he is in quarantine due to a corona infection. After half an hour, the transmission was increasingly disturbed by interruptions.

The FDP leader made a commitment to the delivery of heavy weapons – the delegates were to discuss and vote on a corresponding proposal from the party executive in the afternoon. However, there are two “limits” to arms deliveries, said the FDP boss. They should neither endanger “our own security” nor the “defensibility of NATO territory”. Lindner admitted: “This limits our options.” But Germany will do everything in its power to achieve this goal: “Ukraine must win this war, and Ukraine will win this war.”

With regard to the planned application, SPD leader Lars Klingbeil had previously accused the Union faction of being on a “riot course”. The Social Democrats see a tactical maneuver. “There is a war in Ukraine, people are dying there. This cruel war should not be used for party tactics,” said Klingbeil, adding: “I hope those who see it that way will prevail in the Union.”

Lindner does not mention criticism from his own party

Lindner also defended Chancellor Olaf Scholz against criticism of his Ukraine policy. “Olaf Scholz is a responsible leader who weighs things up carefully and makes decisions on this basis,” Lindner told the delegates. “The Federal Chancellor has the confidence of the FDP and also of their parliamentary group in the German Bundestag.” The FDP leader showed a lack of understanding for the criticism of the Union, which accuses the Chancellor of being too hesitant, for example, on the issue of arms deliveries to Ukraine. However, in his speech, Lindner did not address the fact that criticism of Scholz’s Ukraine policy was also expressed by politicians from the FDP and the third coalition partner, the Greens.

It also bothers him that the Union faction is also arguing very tactically for the planned 100 billion euro special fund for the Bundeswehr, Lindner said. Union faction leader Friedrich Merz said that the traffic light coalition for the necessary amendment to the Basic Law would not be given any more votes than necessary. “What is that more than pure partisan tactics in a question of this historical dimension?” It is a fundamental step, said Lindner. The Union must ask itself whether it is doing justice to its state-political responsibility with this approach. His appeal to the CDU and CSU was “to stop party-political gymnastics on questions of security in the Federal Republic of Germany and on existential questions of the alliance and to assume state-political responsibility”.

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