Ukraine: Germany Announces Drastic Boost In Military Spending As World Enters ‘A New Era’

Hannah Smith

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Ukraine: Germany Announces Drastic Boost In Military Spending As World Enters ‘A New Era’

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has declared Russia's invasion of Ukraine a 'turning point in the history of our continent', as he announces a seismic shift in his country's approach to foreign policy.

In a speech given to German MPs at the Bundestag in Berlin, Scholz confirmed the country would move to increase its annual defence spending to 2% of the country's GDP – meeting the official NATO target for defence spending among its members.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (Alamy)
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (Alamy)

Scholz also pledged a 'comprehensive modernisation of the German army,' with finance minister Christian Lindner revealing plans for a one-off special fund of €100 million for the Bundeswehr (German military) – more than double the amount spent in the previous year – to be used on supplying Germany's military with the latest equipment and technology, per DW.

'It is clear we must invest more in the security of our country, in order to protect in this way our freedom and our democracy,' he said, pledging to work with Germany's European allies in order to develop the next generation of military technology, including tanks and fighter planes as the 'highest priority'.

'What needs to be done to keep the peace will be done, and [Germany] will do its part,' Scholz said, as he said the world had entered a 'new era' after Russia's decision to invade.

As the world's fourth largest economy the decision to increase Germany's contribution from 1.4% to 2% amounts to a roughly $20 billion annual increase, according to the New Statesman's Jeremy Cliffe.

Scholz's address to parliament came a day after he confirmed that Germany would overturn an existing block on sending weapons from its own stocks to other countries, announcing that 1,500 anti-tank weapons and 500 stinger missiles would be sent to Ukraine to aid the resistance to the Russian invasion.

In his speech, the Chancellor condemned Russia's 'despicable' actions in Ukraine, and pledged to support Ukraine both through providing weapons and issuing Russia with heavy sanctions.

'Putin will not change his path overnight, but soon Russia will feel the high price that it is paying [for his actions]' he said.

The German government has also announced significant changes to its energy policy, including an accelerated rollout of renewable sources, in order to reduce the country's reliance on Russian gas.

Prior to Scholz's speech MPs held an moment of applause for Ukraine's citizens that lasted for several minutes, with lawmakers also applauding Scholz's reference to Russian citizens taking to the streets to oppose the war.

If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information 

Topics: News, World News, Russia, Ukraine, Germany

Hannah Smith
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