Eastern Europe: Ukraine crisis: US military leaves warships in the Mediterranean

US aircraft carrier “USS Harry S. Truman”

The aircraft carrier combat group is not to be withdrawn for the time being.

(Photo: AP)

Washington, Berlin The US aircraft carrier “USS Harry S. Truman” and five accompanying warships are staying longer than planned in the Mediterranean due to the conflict over Ukraine. The aircraft carrier combat group should actually have been relocated to the Gulf region, but Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had ordered that it should not be withdrawn for the time being, the AP news agency learned from the Pentagon on Tuesday. The US government wants to assure its allies and partners in the region that it will remain militarily present.

The United States and NATO watched with concern as Russia temporarily concentrated up to 100,000 soldiers on the border with Ukraine. Moscow denied allegations that it was planning an invasion of the neighboring country. For its part, the government in Moscow has called for a series of security guarantees from NATO, which are due to be negotiated in Geneva in January.

Against this background, the Russian ambassador in Berlin, Sergei Netschajew, criticized the demands from Germany for arms deliveries to Ukraine. “From our point of view, the military development of Ukraine is absolutely harmful and out of place. All steps in this direction would be counterproductive, ”he told the German press agency.

Shortly before Christmas, in view of the Russian troop deployment on the border with Ukraine, the designated CDU chairman Friedrich Merz pleaded for considering the delivery of weapons for self-defense to the government in Kiev. Before the general election, Green leader Robert Habeck had already advocated armaments aid for Ukraine. Nechayev said: “These considerations are still evidence that Russia needs security guarantees, and we are demanding these security guarantees in a form that is anchored in international law.”

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Since Russia captured the Ukrainian Crimea in 2014, Ukraine has repeatedly unsuccessfully asked Germany for the delivery of weapons and other armaments. Even with the new federal government, she should hardly have a chance. Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) told the dpa on the issue of arms deliveries: “A further military escalation would not bring any further security to Ukraine.”

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