The Russian invasion of Ukraine that started earlier this week has sent shockwaves throughout the world. Even though no other state, or any organization such as NATO, has intervened militarily, the effects of Russia’s unprovoked invasion can be felt everywhere. And now it appears that Germany is taking steps to ensure that they are prepared for every possibility.
On Sunday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced a new plan to build up Germany’s military, pledging €100 billion, or about $112.7 billion, of their 2022 budget to military spending. Not only will this new plan substantially strengthen the German military, but it also reiterates the Chancellor’s promise to reach 2% GDP spending on defense like NATO wants. This new allocation was announced in a speech during a special session of the German parliament in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This spending would include both investments and armament projects for the German military. This announcement marks a significant change in European security policy since Germany is one of the biggest economies in Europe and now it could have a military to match that. For comparison, Germany spent a total of €53 billion military spending in 2021, an increase of only 3.2% over the €51.4 billion spent in 2020.
“It’s clear we need to invest significantly more in the security of our country in order to protect our freedom and our democracy,” Scholz said, as reported by DW. Germany has often faced criticism from their NATO allies, in particular the United States, about their defense spending but it looks like this new policy could change all of that.
In addition to that, Germany has decided to supply the Ukrainian military with weaponry after a reversal of policy.
“We need to support Ukraine in its hour of desperate need,” the Chancellor stated to German lawmakers. “In attacking Ukraine, [Russian President Vladimir] Putin does not just want to eradicate a country from the world map, he is destroying the European security structure,” Scholz added.
The German government has already announced a plan to supply the Ukrainian military with 1000 anti-tank weapons and 500 surface-to-air missiles to fight against the Russian military.