He took office on Thursday, replacing Christine Lambrecht who resigned after controversy over her stance on the attack on Ukraine
The new German defense minister, Boris Pistorius, hopes to visit Ukraine as soon as possible, perhaps as early as a month: speaking to Bild am Sonntag, in fact, he said that “it is certain that I will go to Ukraine quickly. Probably by next four weeks”. Pistorius took office on Thursday, replacing Christine Lambrecht who resigned after her stance on the attack on Ukraine sparked controversy, at a time when Berlin’s reluctance to supply arms to Kiev is exposing Scholz’s government to strong criticism at home and abroad.
Pistorius will play a key role in deciding on supplies after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky repeatedly asked Berlin and other European capitals for the delivery of German-made Leopard tanks.
Germany, however, has not yet responded by citing the need to coordinate with the allies as its reason. “We are in close dialogue with our international partners, first and foremost with the United States, on this issue” explained Pistorius adding that he had instructed the ministry to “examine everything so as not to waste time unnecessarily” on the decision to send Leopard tanks.
As for strengthening the German armed forces, Pistorius said: “Germany is the largest economy in Europe, so it should also be our goal to have the strongest and best equipped army in the EU” even if it will take several years, he admitted . “My job now is to set the course for this breakthrough to be successful,” he added. The reference is to the allocation announced by Chancellor Olaf Scholz after the Russian invasion of Ukraine of a special fund of 100 billion euros.