Germany must support Ukraine without endangering its own security - minister

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FILE PHOTO - German Ministers Lindner and Habeck address the media in Berlin

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany must do everything in its power to help Ukraine win the war against Russia but without endangering its own security and NATO's defence capability, Finance Minister Christian Lindner said on Saturday.

"We must do everything in our power to help Ukraine win, but the limit of the ethical responsibility is endangering our own security and endangering the defence capability of NATO territory," Lindner said in a party conference speech in Berlin.

"But what is possible ... must be undertaken pragmatically and quickly, together with our European partners," he said.

Lindner said he was in favour of supporting Ukraine with heavy weapons, but that Germany must not become a party to the war.

"Ukraine needs military support, and in order to be victorious, it also needs heavy weapons," Lindner added.

He rejected criticism aimed at Chancellor Olaf Scholz for the government's apparent reluctance to deliver heavy battlefield weapons, such as tanks and howitzers.

"Olaf Scholz is a responsible leader who weighs things up carefully and makes decisions on this basis," Lindner said.

A day earlier, when asked about Germany's failure to deliver heavy weapons to Ukraine, Scholz said NATO must avoid a direct military confrontation with Russia that could lead to a third world war.

(Reporting by Riham Alkousaa and Alexander Ratz; Editing by Christina Fincher)

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