The German chancellor said in his New Year message: Putin started a war of imperialist aggression in the center of Europe, but he did not succeed in conquering Ukraine. Ukrainians bravely defended their country, thanks in part to our help. We sympathize with the Ukrainians who cannot get rid of bombs and missiles even in days like today, and we feel the consequences of this war in our lives. The time when we shop at the supermarket, at the gas station or when we pay the electricity or gas bills, but Germany is a strong country that is working fast for a secure future.
With the start of the Ukraine war, Germany began its efforts to store gas and diversify its resources and build liquefied natural gas terminals, and after the Ukraine war, the supply of oil, gas and coal from Russia was almost completely stopped, the government allocated 200 billion euros to guarantee the supply of energy to the people and the economy of Germany during the winter season. What happens after the injection of this huge amount depends on how the government manages the issue in 2023.
Germany does not expect energy prices to return to pre-Russian invasion of Ukraine, but considers the situation manageable as they claim to have new import facilities. Of course, evidence shows that the government should spend a lot of energy on strengthening social cohesion at times of crisis and uncertainty among the people.
After the Ukraine-Russia war, the Germans faced an energy crisis, to such an extent that they have spent about 500 billion dollars to overcome this crisis, and they have not yet recovered from the energy crisis. The money was spent on plans that Berlin has taken to strengthen the country’s energy system since prices rose and it lost access to gas from its main supplier, Russia.
The severity and time of this crisis largely depends on the nature and severity of the energy crisis. Based on these calculations, the expected cost reaches 440 billion euros, providing the first combined statistics of Germany’s efforts to prevent blackouts and provide new energy sources. In addition, Germany has earmarked 440 billion euros to fight the energy crisis. Berlin plans for renewable energies to account for at least 80 percent of electricity production by 2030, while in 2021 this figure was 42 percent.
Since the beginning of Russia’s military operations in Ukraine, Germany has always supplied Ukraine with a large amount of weapons and has joined sanctions of the West against Moscow. Those sanctions have targeted all economic sectors of Russia, especially the energy sector of that country, and in addition, they have blacklisted a large number of Russian officials and blocked half of Russia’s foreign currency reserves.
The German government is trying to take more share in the delivery of weapons and solidarity with Ukraine and form a united front. Only 28 percent of Germans living in the east of the country want to maintain support for Ukraine even in spite of rising energy prices. While in West Germany, this figure is 42 percent. One third of the people in East Germany believe that NATO provoked Russia so much that Russia was forced to go to war.
One of Berlin’s problems in this regard is lack of equipment in the army. The Commissioner of the Armed Forces of the German Parliament has declared that ‘the German army has deficiency in almost in all areas’.
Mass media have published numerous reports about the failure of the Puma infantry fighting vehicle and the 2000 self-propelled howitzers. The technical problems in the “Puma” infantry fighting vehicle, which have been raised recently, have raised many doubts about the current state of the German army’s equipment.
During the recent exercise of the German army in NATO, all 18 “Puma” infantry fighting vehicles that were deployed were turned off due to technical problems. Those vehicles were supposed to be used by fastest reaction force of NATO from January. The German army is said to only have ammunition for a day or two of war, as the German federal government has delivered millions of rounds of ammunition, thousands of anti-tank mines, rocket-propelled grenades and anti-aircraft missiles to its partners in Kiev.
Of course, the German federal minister of Economy is of the opinion that ‘thanks to the support of the West, Putin has lost the war and no one thought that 2022 would end like this. Putin will lose this war on the battlefield. The reason for this is that the Ukrainian army receives weapons from Europe, NATO countries and the United States and uses those weapons strategically, wisely and heroically. I am in favor of this issue that Germany, together with its allies, supports Ukraine in such a way that it can win this war. The next steps will certainly make more success possible for Ukraine’.
Germany has increasingly expanded its aid to Ukraine in recent months, but the supply of weapons will be limited to the same framework as they have been delivered so far. Despite requests from Kiev, the German government continues its policy of not delivering tanks, but there are signs that the ruling coalition may change its mind in the future.
Not all in Germany are unanimous about sending heavy military weapons to Ukraine. Some German politicians were of the opinion that sending heavy military equipment to the region is not the right thing to do. Another group believes that such weapons should be provided to the Ukrainian army as soon as possible, but weapons that Ukrainian soldiers and army would not need time-consuming military training to use them. Although Germany is committed to sending its military equipment to Ukraine, it has not been easy to provide and deliver weapons to Ukraine through third countries such as Greece.