Federal government plans multi-billion dollar weapons package for Ukraine


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Status: 05/13/2023 08:57 a.m

Another offensive by Ukraine against the Russian occupiers is apparently imminent. Kiev emphasizes how important further military support is for this. Germany is now sending equipment worth billions again.

According to a media report, the federal government has put together another arms package to support Ukraine. As the “Spiegel” reported, the departments involved and the chancellor’s office have agreed in confidential negotiations over the past few days that Ukraine should receive additional weapons worth around 2.7 billion euros from Germany in the coming weeks and months.

According to the report, the list includes another 20 Marder infantry fighting vehicles, 30 Leopard 1 tanks, 15 Gepard anti-aircraft tanks, 200 reconnaissance drones, four additional Iris-T anti-aircraft systems including ammunition, additional artillery ammunition and more than 200 armored combat and combat vehicles logistics vehicles.

Weapons from Germany play an important role in the Ukraine war – what has been delivered and what has been promised.

Symbol of German solidarity

It is therefore the largest package of weapons that Germany has provided to strengthen the Ukrainian armed forces since the beginning of the war in February 2022. According to the report, it is to be announced as a symbol of German solidarity with Ukraine parallel to the presentation of the Aachen Charlemagne Prize to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday. Selenskyj may come to Germany himself for the award ceremony.

According to the “Spiegel” report, the federal government is once again focusing on strengthening Ukraine’s air defense system with the new delivery of weapons. The federal government is therefore planning to sell four more Iris-T-SLM air defense systems and twelve Iris-T-SLS launchers with hundreds of guided missiles for the system.

Wadepuhl: Also use weapons against targets in Russia

The deputy leader of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, Johann Wadephul, advocates allowing Ukraine to use German weapons against targets on Russian territory. “Neither under international law nor politically is there any reason why Ukraine shouldn’t be allowed to attack targets in Russia,” the foreign policy expert told the Berlin daily Tagesspiegel.

Some time ago, Chancellor Olaf Scholz discussed a consensus with Selenskyj that German weapons would not be used for attacks on Russian territory. Wadephul countered: “Why should an attacked country be restricted to defending itself only on its own territory?”

What can the new western weapon systems achieve in the Ukrainian spring offensive?

“Help effectively instead of tying your hands”

Ukraine must “be able to disrupt logistics and supplies beyond the border in order to be able to stop the war of aggression,” he said. “Germany must help Ukraine effectively instead of tying the country’s hands.”

Of course, Ukraine must maintain proportionality. But Wadephul sees this as a given: “Unlike Russia, Ukraine limits itself to attacks on industrial plants, tank farms, transport and military infrastructure. It doesn’t bomb residential complexes, hospitals or kindergartens – unlike Russia.”

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