News Desk

BERLIN: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Sunday assured Ukraine full solidarity in its war with Russia.”As democrats, as Europeans, we stand by your side – on the right side of history. Germany stands today with Ukraine, our thoughts and our sympathies lie with the victims of the Russian war of aggression,” Scholz said in his government statement during a special session of the German parliament on the Russian attack on Ukraine.

He defended the government’s decision to supply German arms to Ukraine. “There could be no other answer to (Russian President) Putin’s aggression.”

The German government made a historic shift on Saturday and now wants to deliver weapons from its military stocks to Ukraine.

The US, Germany, and other allies also agreed to exclude Russian financial institutions from the SWIFT banking communications network.

In the long term, security in Europe is not possible against Russia, said the chancellor, adding: “For the foreseeable future, however, Putin is endangering this security.”

“Putin will not change course overnight. But very soon the Russian leadership will feel the high price it has to pay. The war is a catastrophe for Ukraine, but it will also prove to be a catastrophe for Russia,” Scholz added.

The German leader accused the Russian president of “creating a Russian empire.”

“Putin wants to create a Russian Empire. He wants to recreate the order within Europe and he has no fear of using military might to achieve it. And we’re seeing this in Ukraine today,” Scholz said.

Meanwhile, Scholz highlighted plans for a drastic rise in defense spending, saying more than 2% of the country’s gross domestic product would be devoted to the military.

The chancellor announced a “special fund” of €100 billion (over $112.7 billion) for the German military.

“We will use the funds for necessary investments and armament projects. We will from now on – year after year – invest more than two percent of the gross domestic product in our defense,” Scholz said.

“We will have to invest significantly more in the security of our country. To protect our freedom and our democracy in this way.” This is a “great national effort,” he added.