A total of 63% of Germans oppose supplying Kiev with fighter jets, even though a majority back sending Leopard 2 tanks to the eastern European country, a poll showed on Thursday.
Only 26% of the 5,063 people sampled said they were “definitely” or “largely” in favor of giving Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky the coveted planes, while 11% said they were undecided, according to the survey, which was conducted from January 25-26.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced on Wednesday that the German armed forces would give Ukraine 14 Leopard 2 battle tanks from their own warehouses but rejected Kiev’s call for jets, saying he did not want the Ukrainian conflict to turn into an armed standoff between Russia and NATO.
Western countries ramped up their military support for Ukraine after Russia launched a special military operation there in late February 2022, responding to calls for help from the republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. In April 2022, Moscow sent a note to NATO member states condemning their military assistance to Kiev. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has warned that any arms shipments on Ukrainian territory would be “legitimate targets” for Russian forces.