Ukrainian forces have already received anti-tank weapons, missile launchers and surface-to-air missiles from Berlin.
Germany has almost exhausted its possibilities of supplying Ukraine with equipment drawn from the reserves of its army, the Bundeswehr, but is working on deliveries made directly by the armaments industry, the German Minister of Defense said on Saturday. Defense, Christine Lambrecht. “For deliveries from Bundeswehr stocks, I must honestly say that we have in the meantime come to a limit“Explained the minister to the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper.
The German army must maintain its ability to act and be able to “guarantee the defense of the country and the AllianceAtlantic (NATO), she added. “But that doesn’t mean we can’t do more for Ukraine, so we’ve clarified what industry can provide directlyin kyiv, continues Christine Lambrecht. Berlin consultscontinuously with Ukraine on this subject“.
Until the Russian invasion on February 24, Germany was reluctant, for historical reasons, to send arms to Ukraine, which demanded them in the face of rising tensions with Moscow. Chancellor Olaf Scholz then made a U-turn and Ukrainian forces have already received anti-tank weapons, missile launchers and surface-to-air missiles from Berlin.
A land armymore or less dry»?
But the conflict in Ukraine has also cast a harsh light on the state “alarmingof the Bundeswehr, according to the Commissioner for Defense in the Bundestag (Parliament), Eva Högl, while one of the highest ranking officers spoke of a land army “more or less dry“. The head of Ukrainian diplomacy Dmytro Kouleba on Thursday urged NATO members to quickly provide him with more military equipment, including heavy weapons. “It is clear that Germany can do more, given its reserves“, he said.
The Ukrainians notably requested from Berlin the supply of one hundred armored vehicles of the Marder type. The Bundeswehr has such vehicles manufactured by the German company Rheinmetall. Rheinmetall could quickly prepare around twenty armored vehicles, currently undergoing maintenance, for the Ukrainian forces, company boss Armin Papperger told Spiegel this week.
According to German media, the question of such a delivery is being debated by government security experts because it raises questions of technical feasibility, logistical delays and keeping the German arsenal up to date. Citing Ukrainian government sources, the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag said on Saturday that kyiv has also received a large offer for the delivery of another model of armored vehicles from the arms group Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW).
The weekly claims that the German company offers to deliver 100 armored howitzers of the Panzerhaubitze 2000 type for a value of 1.7 billion euros, including training and spare parts. The first vehicles would be delivered at the earliest in the second half of 2024 and all of them not before 2027. As of this year, Germany will significantly increase its military spending, and create an exceptional fund of 100 billion euros to modernize its army with the objective of reaching the 2% of GDP recommended by NATO.