Exports to dictators must end, German Green politician says

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German Green politician Anton Hofreiter, who chairs the parliamentary committee on European affairs, has spoken out against Germany's continued arms exports to countries which he described as dictatorships, reported dpa.

"If you supply arms, then they should go to EU states and NATO members or also to Ukraine, because it is a democracy under attack," Hofreiter, who has in the past served as co-chair of the party's parliamentary group, told dpa.

In addition, he said, one had to think carefully about whether there was a geostrategic interest.

"With dictatorships, it is actually never in our geostrategic interest, because with dictatorships you never know in which direction they will turn," he said.

Hofreiter mentioned Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as examples which in his opinion should no longer receive German armaments. However the major partners in Germany's coalition government continue to approve arms exports to these countries.

According to current figures from the Economy Ministry, three export licences with a total value of €893,550 ($978,000) were granted for Saudi Arabia in the first half of the year, and 30 licences with a value of €59.7 million for the UAE.

"A country like the United Arab Emirates is a dictatorship. You can also call it a monarchy, but it is de facto a dictatorship," Hofreiter said.

He pointed out that the UAE was collaborating in Libya with General Khalifa Haftar, who was backed by Russian Wagner mercenaries, and supported the uprising in Sudan.

"This is simply not in our geostrategic interest," he said.

Hofreiter also said he was not in favour of arms exports to Egypt.

Outside the EU and NATO, on the other hand, he said he could imagine deliveries to India, a democracy whose army was currently largely equipped by Russia.

"Perhaps we will succeed in getting India more on our side with certain exports," said the Green politician.

Until Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Germany's Green Party was staunchly pacifist and opposed to all weapons exports as a matter of principle. Since Russia's full-scale invasion of its neighbour, the Green Party has been among Germany's strongest backers of arms exports to help Ukraine defend itself.

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Source: www.dailyfinland.fi

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