| 5 March 2024, Tuesday |

Germany to supply Ukraine with anti-tank weapons, missiles: Chancellor Scholz

According to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Ukraine will get 1,000 anti-tank weaponry and 500 Stinger surface-to-air missiles from Bundeswehr inventories to protect itself against Russia.

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a watershed moment. On Twitter, Scholz stated, “It is our responsibility to do whatever we can to assist Ukraine in defending itself against Putin’s invading troops.”

On Saturday, Germany’s defense ministry said that it had approved the supply of 400 RPGs to Ukraine from the Netherlands, confirming a policy reversal after Berlin was chastised for refusing to send weaponry to Kyiv, unlike other Western allies.

On Saturday, a spokeswoman for the defense ministry stated, “The approval has been verified by the chancellery.” The rocket-propelled grenades are from German military stockpiles.

Germany has a long-standing policy of avoiding sending weapons to conflict zones, which is founded in part in the country’s brutal history and subsequent pacifism. Countries that want to import German weaponry must first seek for authorisation in Berlin.

When Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz refused to transfer deadly weaponry to Ukraine in recent weeks, he appealed to this principle.

On Saturday, Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany requested Berlin to join the Netherlands in supplying Ukraine with Stinger air defense missiles.

In an interview with Reuters inside the Ukrainian embassy, Andriy Melnyk said, “Damn it, it’s finally time to assist us.”

Melnyk stated, “We need air defense and a no-fly zone.”

In a letter to parliament earlier on Saturday, the Dutch government announced it will send 200 air defense rockets to Ukraine as soon as feasible.

Berlin must also make a decision on Estonia’s proposal to transfer outdated GDR howitzers to Ukraine. After the collapse of the Berlin Wall in the 1990s, Finland purchased the howitzers and eventually resold them to Estonia.

Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko criticized Germany’s offer in late January to deliver 5,000 military helmets to Ukraine to assist protect against a future Russian invasion as “a joke.” Kyiv has also received a field hospital from Berlin.

  • Reuters