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A revived Weimar Triangle? An emergency meeting of the German, French, and Polish leaders

On 15 March, a meeting is scheduled in Berlin with the Weimar Triangle leaders: French President Emmanuel Macron, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to discuss the urgent situation in Ukraine and to settle the divergent opinions concerning sending combat forces to Ukraine.


Prior to the meeting, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy contacted Scholz to discuss "the development of defence cooperation" on a level of states and defence companies and the future bilateral defence cooperation between Germany and Ukraine. 


Nevertheless, speculation on the effectiveness of the meeting rose as the Macron-Scholz relationship soured over differences in sending Western troops. While Macron insisted on not ruling out any possibilities of "Western ground troops to Ukraine," claiming the severity of the war had reached "existential," Scholz remained cautious in the deployment of long-range missiles.


Despite the "rift" between Macron and Scholz, a consensus seemed to be reached during the meeting, highlighting the need for solidarity in the area of defence and security. "True solidarity with Ukraine? Less words, more ammunition," commented Scholz earlier today. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk also added that together with the other two Weimar leaders, they "spoke with one voice, above all, about the security of our continent." Conforming to the newly found consensus among the trio, Macron reiterated that "Russia cannot win this war" and that "We are willing. We are determined. We have to stick together."



Unsurprisingly, the US's position in sending Western reinforcement was neither positive. A month ago, an aid package to Ukraine was blocked by the Republicans due to their ambitious border and asylum policy goals. In addition, according to the retired US Army Colonel Alexander Crowther in an interview, he does not "advocate sending any combat forces at all, because as soon as you have NATO, EU, [or] American people killing Russians, then that's really escalatory. And so, you don't want it." On the other hand, the Biden administration shares similar views with the French president concerning the escalation of Russian aggression in Ukraine. An announcement of "additional security assistance as an extraordinary measure" of a $300 million package indicated Biden's securitised narrative on the situation in Ukraine. 


A potential solution: The Czech way

While the French and the German leaders were still struggling to find common ground, the Czech Republic had identified 800,000 units of available "Czech-made artillery shells" worldwide to be sent to Ukraine, provided that there were enough funds. Moreover, according to Czech media Seznamzpravy, 18 countries are willing to fund the Czech initiative, with more pending to be added. "The German chancellor and the French president missed the opportunity to send out this important signal at the Munich Security Conference and, I believe, were rightly criticised for doing so," criticised German security expert Nico Lange.

Image: Wikimedia 

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