Ms. Högl, we don't want to talk about Christine Lambrecht's future, but about yours: will you be the next Federal Defense Minister?

Oliver Georgi

Editor in the politics of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sunday newspaper.

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Konrad Schuller

Political correspondent for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sunday newspaper in Berlin.

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I am the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces and consider it a great honor to be able to exercise this office.

I've been elected for five years and I'm happy to continue doing so.

Is Mrs. Lambrecht doing well?

I measure Christine Lambrecht by what she achieves for the group.

And if you look at all the things she has already set in motion, then that's something to be proud of.

What exactly?

During her tenure, she has already made many decisions that were overdue, such as the successor to the tornado or the arming of drones.

There's a lot on the plus side.

Nevertheless, many expect Chancellor Scholz to show leadership in terms of personnel policy.

They also?

As Parliamentary Commissioner, it is not my job to advise the chancellor or decide on the composition of the cabinet.

At the moment, many are talking about the Leopard 2 tanks.

NATO countries such as Finland and Poland are talking about jointly making a certain number available to Ukraine.

Is that possible from the point of view of the Bundeswehr?

Leopard 2 tanks would definitely help Ukraine.

But you have to weigh up whether the Bundeswehr can really do without them.

Support for Ukraine is absolutely necessary and it is right to do everything we can to help.

For the Bundeswehr, however, this means a tour de force because it does not have enough material itself to be prepared for its missions, neither in the defense of the alliance nor in international crisis management.

That's why I'm advocating focusing on the Marder tanks in Ukraine, which are available in industry and aren't available to the troops anyway.

The Leopard 2 would help Ukraine more though.

Experts say there are about 2,000 in the 13 NATO countries that use the Leopard 2.

They believe it is possible to jointly provide Ukraine with a brigade, all in all around 90 units.

Is this doable?

I have no personal knowledge of this.

However, the red line for the Bundeswehr is always its own operational readiness.

And especially now that we are providing the lead unit in NATO's rapid deployment force, we must pay particular attention to this red line.

However, it is right to consider, together with all NATO countries and also within the EU, how Ukraine can be effectively supported.

If individual NATO partners decided to deliver Leopard 2 to Ukraine and asked Germany for approval as the manufacturing country: should Germany allow this?

The Executive must make this decision.

The question is also: How quickly will the Bundeswehr get the tanks back?

How quickly can they be repaired or replaced?

But our soldiers all say – including the units that have given up a lot, such as an artillery unit that provided two self-propelled howitzers and two MARS rocket launchers: Support for Ukraine has top priority.

We're doing what we can, and we're also helping to train the Ukrainians to use weapons.