Putin's war prompts dramatic German U-turn

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Putin's war prompts dramatic German U-turn
« on: February 28, 2022, 04:02:50 AM »
Putin's war prompts dramatic German U-turn

Germany has just witnessed a truly historic day. Chancellor Olaf Scholz only came to power in December, but within 24 hours he has transformed modern Germany's foreign policy.

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During an emergency parliamentary session on Ukraine on Sunday, Chancellor Scholz announced an additional $113bn (84bn) for the German army.

There was an audible ripple of shock in parliament. Some MPs clapped, some booed, others looked stunned.

Undeterred, Mr Scholz went on to announce drastic measures that would have been unthinkable a week ago, including a constitutional commitment to Nato's military spending target of 2% of GDP - and he confirmed that Germany would be sending weapons direct to Ukraine.

Within a few days Vladimir Putin has managed to do what Nato allies have spent years trying to achieve: a massive increase of military spending in Germany.

This is arguably one of the biggest shifts ever seen in Germany's post-war foreign policy.

Before Thursday's invasion of Ukraine, such a militaristic stance would have been unacceptable for most Germans.

Traditionally Berlin focuses on diplomacy and dialogue, not military might, and historically there are deep economic and cultural links between Russia and Germany.


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