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German defense committee chief says Russia's attack on Germany a realistic scenario

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk February 23, 2024 11:21 AM 1 min read
Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann of the German Free Democrats (FDP) speaks during debates and prior to a vote on a new set of measures for supporting Ukraine against Russia at the Bundestag on April 28, 2022, in Berlin, Germany. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
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"It would be fatal" to say that Russian President Vladimir Putin cannot attack Germany, Bundestag's defense committee head Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann said, urging Berlin to arm up and deter such an eventuality.

"It would be fatal to say he won't do that. You just have to trust him to do that," Strack-Zimmermann said on Die Wochentester podcast, as reported by German media on Feb. 23.

The statement joins a growing list of warnings that the alliance must be better prepared for a potential war with Russia. German General Carsten Breuer said on Feb. 10 that the conflict could take place within the next five years.

Strack-Zimmermann, a defense expert of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) that sits in the government, is one of the voices in Germany that has warned against potential Russian aggression early on.

According to the lawmaker, it is up to Germany to ensure that Putin "doesn't dare." Berlin must strengthen NATO and prepare for war "so that it never comes," she said.

For years, Germany has been accused of neglecting defense spending and contributions to collective security. Russia's all-out war against Ukraine marked a shift in this policy, as the country aims to finally hit the 2% defense spending mark this year.

Germany is also the second biggest military donor to Ukraine, although it has been hesitant to supply some key capabilities, namely Taurus long-range missiles. Bundestag, the German parliament, voted on Feb. 22 against a proposal explicitly calling for the provision of Taurus to Kyiv but supported another motion to send additional "long-range weapons" without mentioning the type.

Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann was the only lawmaker from the ruling coalition to support the first motion naming Taurus. She later told WELT TV she does not want to be accused one day of "not doing the right thing at the right moment."

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