Ukraine: Oliver Dowdon hits out at France and Germany
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Oliver Dowden has criticised France and Germany for not doing enough to support Ukraine’s war effort against Russia. The Conservative Party chairman bashed Emmanuel Macron and Olaf Scholz for issuing positive words of support for Ukraine but not backing this up with “action”. Mr Dowden suggested France and Germany are not pulling their weight when it comes to supporting Ukraine.
Sky News’ Sophy Ridge questioned whether the two countries were “lagging behind” the UK.
Mr Dowden responded: “We have heard some very positive noises from France and Germany but I’d like to see more action from them.”
He said that Boris Johnson agreed to send 120 armoured vehicles to Ukraine during his visit to Kyiv last weekend.
The Conservative Party chairman said the UK had “stepped up” to support Ukraine to the sum of “nearly half a billion pounds worth of military aid”.
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Mr Dowden praised Mr Johnson for “leading the way,” saying that Britain was the “first major nation to start doing this”.
He said that the US has since followed the UK’s lead, adding: “It is heartening to see the US is continuing to support Ukraine military with up to 2 billion pounds worth of support.”
On Saturday, Mr Johnson confirmed in a telephone call with President Zelensky that the UK was providing more defensive military aid to Ukraine.
He said that in addition to reopening the British embassy in Kyiv, the UK would be sending protected mobility vehicles, drones and anti-tank weapons to Ukraine.
President Zelensky also praised the British PM for the training that Ukrainian military personnel are currently receiving in the UK.
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On the other hand, Germany has faced intense criticism for being slow to offer support to Ukraine and for initially planning to go ahead with the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz has also been accused of stalling and breaking his promises over sending heavy weapons to Ukraine.
By contrast to Britain’s half a billion pounds worth of support, German spending for Ukraine’s military defence stands at just £156million.
So far Germany has sent rocket-propelled grenades, anti-aircraft rockets, machine guns, ammunition and protective gear — but not heavy weapons.
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Finance Minister Christian Lindner said yesterday that Germany must support Ukraine but not endanger its own security.
This comes as the war in Ukraine enters its third month, as Russia continues to struggle to make breakthroughs in the country.
Ukraine’s President Zelensky is expected to press US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin for more weapons during their visit to Kyiv today.
On Saturday, President Zelensky said: “We will talk about the weapons we need and about the time framework for deliveries.”
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