Former President Medvedev issued a harsh warning after the German parliament voted in favor of heavy weapons deliveries to Ukraine.
Dmitry Medvedev, who served as Russia’s president from 2008 to 2012 and who is currently deputy chairman of the country’s security council, has alluded to how World War II ended for Germany, after the country’s parliament supported the handover of heavy weapons to Ukraine.
In a post published on his Telegram channel Thursday, Medvedev suggested that incumbent German lawmakers are envious of the “laurels of his predecessors who sat in the German parliament under a different name in the last century.” The Russian official warned that such a situation “Ends sadly” for the German parliament.
The comments came shortly after the German Bundestag passed a motion demanding that the federal government in Berlin deliver heavier and more complex weaponry to kyiv, so that Ukraine would be better equipped to defend against the Russian offensive.
Noble “Defending peace and freedom in Europe: comprehensive support for Ukraine”, the document was supported by 586 legislators, 100 more voted against and seven abstained.
Proposed by the ruling coalition and the opposition Christian Democrats, the motion calls for a “Acceleration of the delivery of more effective weapons, also heavier and more complex systems by Germany.” However, lawmakers noted that the shipments should not come at the expense of Germany’s own defense capabilities.
During the debate, lawmakers from the right-wing Alternative for Germany and Left parties opposed the proposal.
In addition to calling for heavy weapons to be provided to Ukraine, the motion also endorsed all the steps Olaf Scholz’s government has already taken, including sanctions against Russia and assistance in the investigation of alleged war crimes committed in Ukraine. In addition, lawmakers supported the German government’s push to make the country less dependent on Russian energy.
“The German Bundestag condemns Russia’s brutal aggressive war against Ukraine in the strongest possible terms,” the motion says. The document also accuses the Kremlin of flagrantly violating international humanitarian law as well as try “destroy the European peace order permanently”.
On Tuesday, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht announced that the government in Berlin had given the green light for the delivery of self-propelled anti-aircraft guns to Ukraine. She broke the news during defense talks hosted by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin at the US Ramstein air base in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate.
Lambrecht explained that “Ukraine will order” hardware from German manufacturers and “Germany will pay.” To finance the scheme, Berlin would allocate some two billion euros, the minister said.
According to German media reports, the defense firm Krauss-Maffei Wegmann could send up to 50 Gepard-type self-propelled anti-aircraft guns, decommissioned by the German military in 2010, but still in stock. Designed to shoot down cruise missiles and aircraft, the hardware can also engage targets on the ground. German officials stopped short of disclosing specific dates when kyiv could expect to receive the Gepards. However, several German media outlets reported that the manufacturer would first have to restore the hardware before it could be shipped to Ukraine.
The planned delivery would add to the swap scheme under which Eastern European nations donate their Soviet-made heavy weaponry to Ukraine and receive military equipment from Germany instead. Berlin also promised to help the Ukrainian army in terms of training.
In early April, reports appeared in various German media outlets suggesting that the country’s arms manufacturer Rheinmetall was prepared to sell 88 decommissioned Leopard tanks to Ukraine, along with ammunition, spare parts and tools. The company was reportedly awaiting approval from the German government to continue shipping.
Russia, for its part, has repeatedly criticized NATO arms supplies to Ukraine, insisting they hamper prospects for peace in the country. Moscow also made it clear that any delivery of military hardware would be considered a legitimate target for Russian forces once they crossed the border into Ukraine.
“NATO essentially goes to war with Russia through a proxy and arms that proxy. War means war.” The Russian Foreign Minister said on Monday.
Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February after Ukraine failed to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The protocols negotiated by Germany and France were designed to give breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.
Since then, the Kremlin has demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. kyiv insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it planned to retake the two republics by force.