German Ambassador to the U.S. Emily Haber insisted Thursday that Germany is committed to protecting Ukrainian sovereignty and “territorial integrity” as NATO allies question the extent of Berlin’s resolve to oppose Russia.
Germany came under fire earlier this week after it offered to provide 5,000 military helmets to Ukraine in the event of a Russian invasion, resisting pressure from its NATO allies who have sent troops, fighter jets and arms support to nearby countries.
Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba criticized Germany, saying its stance on arms supplies does “not correspond to the level of our relations and the current security situation.”
Haber told “Special Report” host Bret Baier that while she is aware of the allegations surrounding Germany’s response to Russian aggression, Berlin and the U.S. “pursue the same goals” in safeguarding Ukrainian independence and territorial integrity.
“It is true that Germany has very strict laws regarding the delivery, the export of military lethal equipment through crisis and conflict areas. That’s the legal framework. And that’s not something any government can… define the decisions that we can take,” Haber said.
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The ambassador also pushed back on allegations that Germany halted armed deliveries from U.K. transit via German airspace, telling Baier that it “has never been requested” and any report suggesting as much “is a figment of imagination.”
Still, Haber said she does “understand the concerns” from NATO allies. But, she emphasized, “We are committed to Ukrainian sovereignty, to Ukrainian territorial integrity, to Ukrainian democracy, to Ukrainian resilience.”
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“You cannot only measure support by what you do in military terms. There is also support for the economy, there’s financial support and there’s humanitarian support. And the observation is in place that Germany over the past years has the single biggest donor for Ukraine, both bilaterally but also in the European framework.”
Newly-elected German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that Germany will help with economic sanctions but will not provide “lethal weapons, raising more questions about Germany’s commitment to opposing Russian aggression – particularly as Germany’s growing dependence on the Nord Stream pipeline could be hindering negotiations from a position of strength.
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Haber said Berlin is working “hand in glove as closely as we possibly can with the American administration,” insisting that the two countries “share the goal to shape a strong and massive package for swift and really severe sanctions designed to put a huge price tag on the military incursion.
“We might be pursuing different avenues, given the legal frameworks that we have. But I do see the support effort as a military reinforcing system of communicating better,” she said.
Haber went on, “We share entirely the concerns the U.S. have all of our partners have and that’s why our key interest is to to be as unanimous and unified as we possibly can. The narrative that sometimes is used out there that Europeans are pitted against each other or that Germans are pitted against the United States or even Ukraine is really benefiting only Putin’s interest.
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“Our unity is our strongest weapon. And, believe me,” she reiterated, “Germany is committed to a unified position.”