TOPSHOT - The self-propelled howitzer 2000 tank (Panzerhaubitze 2000 or PzH 2000) of the German army (Bundeswehr) fires during exercise at the 'Dynamic Front 22', the US Army led NATO and Partner integrated annual artillery exercise in Europe, in Grafenwoehr, near Eschenbach, southern Germany, on July 20, 2022. - The 'Dynamic Front 22' exercise, led by 56th Artillery Command, is the premier US led NATO and Partner integrated artillery exercise in Europe and includes more than 3000 participants from 19 nations. Allied artillery and supporting units practice integrating joint fires and test interoperability in a multi-national enviroment until 24 July, 2022. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

When it comes to the issue of supplying heavy weapons to Ukraine, there is a chasm the size of the Grand Canyon between the Chancellor’s self-description and the verdict in Kyiv on the effectiveness of military aid.

On the one hand there is Olaf Scholz with his assertion that he is doing everything responsible to help those who have been attacked. On the other hand, the suspicion has become firmly entrenched that the federal government in Berlin is only acting under extreme pressure, not fulfilling its promises, but delaying and delaying them when it comes to direct deliveries of tanks from Germany, for example. And this at a time when every day counts in view of the Russian superiority on the battlefield.

Anyone who considers Ukraine to have adequate equipment to ward off the aggressor as morally and politically imperative could actually not be satisfied with the deliveries made to date by Europe’s strongest economic power to its army. Especially not because the Ukrainians are also defending the freedom of Europe.

The debate seemed deadlocked, but at the beginning of this week there was suddenly news: on Monday, the first three refurbished Gepard anti-aircraft tanks and ammunition from German industrial production arrived in the Ukraine. Three multiple rocket launchers (“Mars II”) and three heavy artillery pieces (“Panzerhaubitze 2000”) followed on Tuesday, ten of which are now in the country.

This is progress, but still little compared to the dimensions of the surrender of heavy weapons, which the USA or Poland, for example, surrender to the attacked country.

Germany’s hesitation is betraying trust – not only in Ukraine, but also among NATO’s eastern partners. Poland even accuses the federal government of attempting to deceive, because the delivery of the German Leopard tanks promised to compensate for Polish tank deliveries to Ukraine is to be delivered over a period of years. In the traffic light coalition itself, the Greens and Liberals increasingly spoke of the failure of the ring exchange concept and called on the government to deliver tanks directly to Ukraine.

But the world seems contradictory: Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock from the Greens has rejected the Polish accusation of attempted deception, but herself admitted to problems with the tank ring exchange. In Prague, she explained on Tuesday that the contract with the Czech Republic for a ring exchange was about to be completed and could become an example for agreements with other countries.

The SPD in particular has repeatedly complained that the Bundeswehr had been cut short during the long period in government of the Union and that no further heavy weapons could be handed over without endangering the ability to defend itself according to NATO specifications.

Even those who follow must ask themselves: What about the 100 Leopard 1 and Marder tanks that German armaments manufacturers are offering? Why are the requested export permits not granted? It’s time for the government to clear up the contradictions that are causing despair not only in Kyiv but also in some coalition members.