“We all want a quick end to this brutal war that Russia is waging against the Ukrainian people, but unfortunately it is not in sight. That is why Germany will provide all possible assistance, as long as it is necessary,” Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said in a statement.
In particular, arms batches in preparation include an additional 30 Leopard-1 A5 tanks, 20 new Marder armored vehicles, over a hundred other smaller armored vehicles, 200 reconnaissance drones and 4 new Iris T air defense systems. and its launchers, air defense missiles, 18 howitzers and ammunition.
Der Spiegel weekly reported that it was the largest group of arms shipments from Berlin to Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion.
The announcement comes on the eve of a possible visit by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to Germany. It was reported in leaks to the German media that Zelensky, who is visiting Rome on Saturday, may then go to Germany to meet its officials on Sunday and receive the European Charlemagne Prize. But this visit has not yet been officially confirmed by Berlin.
Kiev and some of its European partners, especially in the east of the continent, have criticized Germany for its reluctance to provide strong military support to Ukraine. But over the past months, Berlin has intensified its efforts in this area.
Last year, Berlin spent two billion euros in military support for Kiev.
To date, it has announced that it will allocate 2.2 billion euros this year for these efforts. Berlin notably promised 14 Leopard-2 A6s from its army’s stocks, which are more efficient than the Leopard-1s included in the new assistance plan. It also started training Ukrainian soldiers to operate these tanks.
© 2023 AFP