Kanzler Scholz über die Panzer-Entscheidung: »Vertrauen Sie mir, vertrauen Sie der Bundesregierung
Dear deputies! I'm very happy to be able to answer your questions here today, and I'd like to take the opportunity to say something up front. Shortly before coming here, I spoke with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy and discussed with him the current situation, but also what Germany is doing and will do. Ladies and gentlemen! If you look back at the concerns and reports of last year, then you can certainly say: Most people thought that it probably wouldn't work if Germany stopped getting gas from Russia if we got oil and coal completely from other sources, that this can done without a massive economic crisis, without supply bottlenecks this winter and without all the challenges associated with it.
Some, some have already talked about a furious autumn and a furious winter and things like that that would later take over our country and that we would have had to deal with. The truth is that this did not happen. We are sitting here, it is hot and that is the case throughout Germany. We have guaranteed the supply of energy, also through a completely new rate from Germany, with which we have built new infrastructure. And we made sure that we also maintained our country's economic performance and offset high energy price increases, for example, with corresponding support and aid packages worth billions.
So you can, you can say with a commentator: the federal government has whistled the economic crisis. We are in a better position now. The annual economic report presented today has once again clearly demonstrated this. And it can also be said very clearly: We have also shown what we are made of. And that is very important to me. After all, it happened in a very short time that we took all the necessary measures from restarting coal power plants, extending the use of nuclear plants, filling gas storage facilities and many opportunities to import gas, through ports. Western Europe and then new terminals on the northern German shores.
To some extent, the first three have already seen the ships that can be used to import the gas. And that is a good sign for Germany. I would like to say at this point, I would like to say that the rhythm that we have shown here must be a rhythm that characterizes our entire country. That we advance with the right speed wherever it is about winning the future. For example, if we now, when we currently have to fight the crisis, let's see how quickly this can be done, that we do the same when it comes to expanding renewables, offshore wind, onshore, solar, power grids, when it comes to accompanying the transformation of the industry so that we really achieve what we set out to be the first CO2 neutral industrialized country in the world, move forward as the fourth largest economy in the world and demonstrate that it is possible and give others the courage to follow this path as well.
Above all, we have not forgotten the cohesion and respect for citizens with all the achievements that we have set in motion. Ladies and gentlemen! Ladies and gentlemen, the cause of the challenges we have had to face in regards to our own economy is Russia's terrible war of imperialist aggression against Ukraine. A terrible war in which the principles that we had agreed to for decades in Europe have been called into question. The principles that contained this statement, for example: The limits must not be pushed by force, the limits must not be pushed by force. This is what Russia denounced.
This is the turning point that I have spoken about here in this Bundestag. And that is why it is right that we, in close coordination with our international partners, support Ukraine financially, with humanitarian funds, but also with arms deliveries. We did that in a break with decades of state practice in Germany. And now you can say: in Europe it is we and Great Britain who provide the most arms support to Ukraine. And if you add up all the decisions we have already made, you can say: Germany will always be in the forefront when it comes to supporting Ukraine.
We are the country that is doing it with great energy and on a large scale. In addition, we have decided that we are also going to supply heavy weapons, the self-propelled howitzer, the multiple rocket launcher, as far as artillery is concerned. We have made the Gepard available to the flak tank and will continue to do so. A modern air defense system like IrisT, where new missiles have just been delivered and we will also deliver other systems. The Patriot system, as I recently decided with the government. And all these are measures that help Ukraine to defend itself.
We make all of these decisions in unison and in close cooperation with our allies. That is why they are effective and that is why we were able to meet them. That is the principle that this government has. And we will continue to do so, as we did recently when we decided to supply armored personnel carriers together with the US Bradley the US and us with our Marder infantry fighting vehicle. The French deployed reconnaissance tanks at the same time. You see close cooperation and coordination is the beginning. And he's right, because it really is a war in Europe.
Not far from here, in Berlin, a great country like Ukraine is being played. And that is why in everything we do, we must always make it very clear that we are doing what is necessary and what is possible to support Ukraine. But at the same time we prevent the war from turning into a war between Russia and NATO. And we will continue to observe this principle at all times. There are no mathematical certainties for these things. No one can tell you exactly where the right and wrong decisions are. And that's why it was right and intentional that we moved forward little by little.
And we will continue to follow this principle in the future. It is the only principle that guarantees the safety of Europe and Germany in so dangerous a matter. And that now also applies to the most recent decision made by the federal government. We will also make Leopard 2 main battle tanks available to Ukraine. This is the result of intensive consultations again with ours. That we do not let ourselves drift, but rely on this close cooperation in such a matter and continue it as well. Oh! Oh! Our objetive? Yes. Our goal is to rapidly deploy two tank battalions together with our allies.
There are many countries who would like to deliver to. And we will coordinate it and we will involve them to make it happen one step at a time. As I said, Germany will provide Leopard 2A6 tanks, it will provide Leopard 2A6 tanks from Bundeswehr stocks. And if the others do that, we will train the Ukrainian crews here in Germany. We will provide training, logistics, ammunition and systems maintenance. And as I said, allow partner countries to comply. Ladies and gentlemen, that is the correct principle. These are very effective weapon systems. And it is right that we never provide these weapon systems alone, but always in close cooperation.
One last word. There are many citizens in this country who are concerned, also before such a decision and given the dimensions that this weapon entails. And that's why I'd like to say to these citizens here and right now: trust me, trust the federal government. Because we act in an internationally coordinated manner, we will continue to ensure that this support is possible without the risks to our country growing in the wrong direction. That's why we do it this way. And so we will continue to do so.