Speaking in Brussels where he is meeting other EU leaders for a two-days summit, the German Chancellor said Russia’s attack on Ukraine prompted him to swiftly create a “special fund” to increase defence spending. He said: “The suggestions which I made immediately after the war broke out, which was to form a special fund worth 100 billion euros will now also get a majority vote in the German Bundestag needed to change the constitution after we agreed to a common suggestion with the big opposition party.
“This is important during these times and it is also a good sign that this is possible.
“Therefore Germany will now make a significantly bigger contribution to the security in Europe.
“We will permanently spend more money on our Bundeswehr.
“But we will also be able to do so because we got this special fund off the ground, which will now be available to us in the coming years and with which we can ensure that Germany, corresponding to its size also makes a contribution to the common security.”
Mr Scholz also said he expected the European Union to reach consensus on an oil embargo against Russia, but did not give a time frame when it might happen.
“Everything I hear sounds like there could be a consensus – and sooner or later there will be”, he told reporters as he arrived in Brussels.
European Union leaders will fail to agree on a Russian oil ban at a summit on Monday and Tuesday in Brussels, leaders said as they arrived, adding that weeks of haggling over the matter were not over even if they were hopeful for a deal later.
For sure, the leaders are set to agree in principle over a ban, a draft text showed, but they will leave all the details and hard decisions for later.
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Some complained harshly over the lack of deal.
“We’re getting a little bogged down in all of the details and we’re forgetting the big picture,” Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins said.
“It’s only money, the Ukrainians are paying with their lives,” he said, adding: “We can and we must support them, if only out of self interest because only when Russia is defeated can we in Europe feel safe.”