Shipment courier

Germany allows shipment of heavy weapons to Ukraine – EURACTIV.com

Germany’s “traffic light” coalition will step up its efforts to support Ukraine with weapons and gives the green light to the delivery of heavy weapons by the industry, marking a clear shift in approach.

The move comes after pressure continued to mount on Chancellor Scholz over his reluctance to ship heavy weaponry to the country following its invasion by Russia. Now the three coalition parties in the Bundestag are preparing a motion to step up their aid.

The motion calls on the German government to “continue and, if possible, accelerate the delivery of the necessary equipment to Ukraine, including by expanding the delivery to include heavy weapons and complex systems, as under the exchange of rings, without jeopardizing the alliance of Germany”. defense capabilities”, the parliamentary motion obtained by dpa bed.

Last week, the “ring swap” was announced as a preliminary compromise between the coalition parties. Although Germany will not directly deliver heavy weapons, it will assist NATO allies who deliver Soviet and Russian equipment by replacing them with German heavy weapons.

“They are giving Soviet-made equipment to Ukraine, and we are filling those gaps. More can be done here. We are ready to do that,” Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said today (April 26) during of his meeting with international defense ministers at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

However, according to information obtained by dpa, the German government gave the green light to a Gepard anti-aircraft tank delivery by German arms manufacturer Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, marking a U-turn from the ring swap approach.

More tanks to come?

The German government said last week that the delivery of heavy weapons would not be a “taboo” but that the Bundeswehr’s stocks would be depleted and there were no heavy weapons – such as tanks or armored vehicles available – ready to ship immediately.

Instead, Chancellor Olaf Scholz provided Ukraine with a list of weapons worth a total of €1 billion that it could order directly from German arms manufacturers.

However, according to Ukraine’s ambassador to Berlin, Andriy Melnyk, the list did not contain “any heavy weapons” at the time. “The weapons we need are not on this list,” he said. ZDF Last week.

With the green light for the shipment of Gepard anti-aircraft tanks, Germany could now also allow other arms producers to ship their tanks to Ukraine.

Rheinmetall already announced a few weeks ago that it would also be able to ship tanks of the Marder and Leopard 1 type, which Ukraine says it desperately needs, in a few weeks.

Growing pressure on SPD

The SPD was seen as the main obstacle when it came to the disputed topic, as its two coalition partners – the liberal FDP and the Greens – had long been calling for the dispatch of heavy armaments.

Last Saturday, the liberal FDP even took matters into its own hands and voted at its party congress in favor of the delivery of heavy weapons.

The opposition has also increased its pressure on the SPD, with the conservative CDU/CSU party last week announcing its own parliamentary motion calling for the immediate dispatch of heavy weapons.

“The SPD does not know what it wants and the Chancellor is maneuvering. Clarity must now be created, and who must do it if not the opposition,” CDU/CSU leader Friedrich Merz said yesterday.

[Edited by Alice Taylor]