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Ukraine war in the live ticker: +++ 02:12 SPD parliamentary group leader protects Scholz +++

Ukraine war in the live ticker
+++ 02:12 SPD parliamentary group leader protects Scholz +++

In the debate about possible main battle tank deliveries, the deputy chairman of the SPD parliamentary group, Dirk Wiese, defended Chancellor Olaf Scholz against criticism from within the coalition. “Within the traffic light coalition, we are working together constructively and in a coordinated manner under the leadership of Chancellor Olaf Scholz in this challenging situation. However, individual deviations should not be overestimated,” says Wiese of the “Rheinische Post”. “Rather, you should now keep your nerve and not make decisions on the basis of gut instinct.”

+++ 01:02 Norwegian army comments on Russian and Ukrainian losses +++
According to Norwegian estimates, almost 180,000 Russian soldiers have been killed or injured in Ukraine so far. On the Ukrainian side, more than 100,000 soldiers are believed to be dead or wounded, said Chief of Staff Eirik Kristoffersen in an interview with Norwegian broadcaster TV2. In addition, 30,000 Ukrainian civilians have been killed so far. The General does not explain how the numbers are calculated.

+++ 23:49 Pistorius: Germany not isolated for tank deliveries +++
According to Federal Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, Germany is not alone in the question of possible deliveries of “Leopard 2” battle tanks to Ukraine. “Germany was not isolated there,” says the SPD politician on ARD, referring to the meeting of Ukraine’s military partners on Friday. The picture of opinion was not as uniform as sometimes portrayed. The decision is difficult and must therefore be made carefully. Germany has already provided weapons worth 3.3 billion euros to Ukraine, which was attacked by Russia, only Great Britain and the USA have done more. The “Leopard” decision will be made in the Chancellery.

+++ 22:10 EU advises on military aid for Ukraine +++
The foreign ministers of the European Union will discuss increasing military aid to Ukraine tomorrow, Monday. Another tranche of 500 million euros for joint arms purchases for Ukraine is under discussion. A video conference with the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba could also deal with Kiev’s demand for German “Leopard” battle tanks.

+++ 21:43 SPD faction leader urges moderate handling in the tank dispute +++
In the dispute over possible deliveries of main battle tanks to Ukraine, SPD faction leader Rolf Mützenich has once again backed Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Statements by coalition members about the chancellor in recent weeks have weakened the government’s policies, says Mützenich on ZDF’s “heute journal”. “I held back for a long time, but I found this criticism at the weekend, especially from a colleague who is after all the chair of the Defense Committee, to be excessive.” FDP defense expert Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann had publicly attacked Scholz in the dispute over the battle tanks. She described the chancellor’s communication on the tank issue as a “disaster.”

+++ 21:10 Baerbock: Would not block “Leopard” deliveries from other countries +++
Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock says Germany would not block the export of “Leopard” tanks from third countries to Ukraine. “The question hasn’t been asked at the moment, but if we were asked, we wouldn’t stand in the way,” the Green politician told French broadcaster LCI. She was also asked what would happen if Poland supplied “Leopard” tanks to Ukraine. Baerbock follows the course of Robert Habeck, who had already made similar statements. Ultimately, however, the decision will be made by Chancellor Olaf Scholz. So far, the SPD politician has been more cautious on such issues than numerous Greens and FDP traffic light colleagues.

+++ 8:50 p.m. Dijr-Sarai: Must end testing of “Leopard” tank deliveries promptly +++
FDP General Secretary Bijan Djir-Sarai is calling for his party’s traffic light coalition with the SPD and the Greens to speed up the question of whether Germany should deliver “Leopard 2” battle tanks to Ukraine. That must now be decided in the next few days or weeks at the latest, he says on ZDF. Ukraine has no time for long debates. The test must now be completed.

You can read earlier developments in the Ukraine war here.

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