Defense Minister Boris Pistorius

He has a task ahead of him with “an extraordinarily great responsibility,” says the new head of command and command authority.


(Photo: dpa)

Sedan Predecessor Christine Lambrecht (SPD) and Inspector General Eberhard Zorn are ready, the military formation of honor moves forward as the new Minister of Defense steps out of the service limousine on Thursday morning. Along with Zorn, he paces through the formation, stopping in the middle, taking a short bow, and then continuing on his way. When he has reached the end of the line, he has finally arrived at the new office that, according to his own words, was only offered to him on Monday.

The Federal President had very soon frank walter steinmeier presented the new Secretary of Defense with his certificate of appointment. Boris Pistorius (SPD) will assume the ministerial position “in a threatening and dangerous situation that Germany I hadn’t known that for a long time,” Steinmeier said. Pistorius was sworn in at the Bundestag just after nine.

After the ignominious departure of his predecessor Lambrecht, who was greeted with friendly applause in the morning, the former Interior Minister of Lower Saxony is under enormous pressure of expectations. In the “current environment of new threats and geopolitical changes, it is now critical armed forces be a deterrent and be ready for defense,” Steinmeier advises the newcomer.

On the first day in office, Pistorius has to lower his expectations a bit. After being received with military honors, he makes a brief statement to himself. Questions are not allowed. The danger of Pistorius getting off to a bad start is too great if he answers sensitive questions about tank deliveries to the Ukraine give the wrong answers.

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In view of the current problems and challenges we face, there will be ample opportunity for more detailed statements in the near future, says the new head of the authority to command and control the armed forces. He has a task of “great responsibility” ahead of him, which he faces with “humility and all respect.” “These are not normal times, it is a war in Europe.”

Meeting with his US counterpart Lloyd

Germany is not part of the war, but it is affected by the war, and security policy has a different meaning than it did a year ago. “That’s why now it’s about them armed forces to get strong now and quickly, it’s all about deterrence, effectiveness and operational capability.” His predecessor Lambrecht promoted many things. “But most of the tipping point is still ahead.”

Swearing in the Bundestag

The new defense minister promises continued support for Ukraine, without specifically addressing the issue of tanks.

(Photo: IMAGO/Political Moments)

The new defense minister promises continued support for Ukraine, without specifically addressing the issue of tanks. He only says one thing: support must be provided “with Bundeswehr materiel.”

Pistorius can discuss what this support should look like, shortly after the honor formation has marched again, with his American counterpart, Lloyd Austin. The American is pleased to be the first visitor of the new minister. Which in turn is not art, since Pistorius has only been in office for an hour, as Austin himself says. However, the new boss of the Bendlerblock had already phoned his French counterpart Sébastien Lecornu immediately after taking the oath.

>> Read here: Boris Pistorius directly has a double tank problem

Pistorius and Austin do not disclose whether Germany and the United States will go to Ukraine’s upcoming contact group meeting in Ramstein on Friday with a commitment to tanks, though the American praises Germany as “one of its most important allies.”

need for coordination

Several media had reported the night before that the Chancellor Olaf Schölz (SPD) was ready to deliver Leopard tanks if the USA in turn, it provided Abrams’ main battle tanks.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin (left), Boris Pistorius

There is praise for Germany as one of the closest allies.

(Photo: IMAGO/Jens Schicke)

Apparently, there is still a need for coordination on this issue on Thursday, and differences. Because when the two stand in front of journalists, the government in Washington had already made it clear that it did not want to hand over any Abrams, at least for the moment..

The press conference with Austin takes place before the actual interview and no questions are allowed here either. The Ministry of Defense had canceled a press conference scheduled for that time, reportedly due to time constraints on the US side.

>> Read here: When he was 16 years old, he entered the S.P.D. and you’ve probably wanted to go to Berlin for a long time – that’s Boris Pistorius

But there is already an opportunity for more talks on Friday, as Pistorius says. Then, however, with Austin hosting at the Ramstein US Air Force Base.

More: Scholz can no longer prevent delivery of Leopard 2 tanks – One comment

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