German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said that Germany will play a greater international role outside Europe militarily. “Europeans cannot stand still when it comes to the future of the world,” the Christian Democrat said at the start of the Westphalian Peace Conference in Münster.
Pistorius believes that Europe should not turn a blind eye “while hegemonic powers impose their will on sovereign states and nations.” He refers to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and, according to Pistorius, to China’s “aggressive and sometimes ill-advised ambitions” in the Pacific and East Asia.
Germany must look beyond continental Europe because, as a “leading trading nation, it relies on the security of international sea lanes and supply chains.”
Therefore, German naval ships will participate in exercises in the Indo-Pacific region and will participate in surveillance missions near North Korea. Pistorius said the visit by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to Russia earlier this week shows the importance of this. Next year, the German Air Force will participate in Australian exercises.
At the conference, Pistorius also said that a decision on sending German Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine was expected within two weeks. Kiev has been demanding these missiles, which have a range of up to 500 kilometers, for some time. According to Kiev, these are necessary to strike Russian positions and strengthen the Ukrainian counteroffensive.
Pistorius added: “Germany must be very careful, even if it is difficult for our Ukrainian friends to understand this.” Taurus is “a very complex industrial product, and this is not a coffee maker.”
Shortly after Pistorius’s statements on this matter, the government in Berlin announced that no decision would be taken in the coming days. Government spokesman Stephen Hebstreit said: “I don’t see any movement there.”
The Westphalian Peace Conference was named after the Peace of Westphalia. The Eighty-Thirty Years’ War ended in Osnabrück and Münster in 1648.
German Defense Minister: The German army cannot defend its homeland
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