German arms maintenance plans in Slovakia delayed by customs issues
Germany announced that complications with customs are delaying its plans to establish a repair and maintenance facility for Ukrainian weaponry in Michalovce.
On Monday, Germany announced that complications with customs are delaying its plans to establish a repair and maintenance facility for Ukrainian weaponry in Michalovce which is 35 kilometers from the Ukrainian-Slovakian border.
"At the moment, we still have customs aspects that have to be sorted out," the defense ministry spokesperson said.
"We would like things that come in for repair to flow back to Ukraine more quickly...That is not the case at the moment."
Berlin was announced to be working on "alternative solutions" however the spokesperson didn't elaborate on these potential options. Slovakia however has reportedly proposed importing the equipment into a special customs regime as an alternative, according to the customs authority spokesperson.
According to informed sources, the equipment has to be sent back to Germany for repairs, which is why German officials opted for constructing a proximate facility that would make the delivery and reparation process more convenient.
"In Michalovce, everything is ready to receive equipment for repairs. We are ready from both technical and personnel point of view," Martina Koval Kakascikova, a spokesperson for the Slovakian ministry of defense, told AFP.
Ukraine is designated as a "third nation from the point of view of custom regulations," according to the Slovak customs authorities.
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Earlier, the President of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) Marcel Fratzscher said that since the start of the war in Ukraine, Germany has lost over $106.7 billion.
Germany, according to Fratzscher, has been more severely impacted by the economic crisis because it is "extremely dependent on exports and global supply chains."
Read more: War in Ukraine cost Germany $106.7bln in 2022
Back in August, Berlin supplied Kiev with Self-propelled howitzers, Multiple Launch Rocket Systems, anti-aircraft systems, and counter-battery radar.
On January 24, Berlin decided on supplying Kiev with 14 Leopard 2 battle tanks as part of a European coalition.