Germany to send weapons to Ukraine
This move comes against Germany's long history of refusing to transfer lethal weapons to crisis zones.
The German government announced on Saturday that it will transfer weapons and other supplies directly to Ukraine, which is fighting Russia for control of its capital city. Officials said Germany is also willing to approve some limits on the SWIFT global banking system for Russia.
Germany's Chancellery stated Saturday evening that 1,000 anti-tank missiles and 500 Stinger surface-to-air missiles would be sent to Ukraine "as quickly as possible."
“The Russian invasion of Ukraine marks a turning point. It threatens our entire post-war order,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in a statement. “In this situation, it is our duty to help Ukraine, to the best of our ability, to defend itself against Vladimir Putin’s invading army.”
The news came after Germany's economy and climate ministry said on Saturday evening that the Netherlands would be allowed to transfer 400 German-made anti-tank guns to Ukraine. The cabinet has also given its approval for the delivery of nine D-30 howitzers and ammunition from Estonia.
Germany has a long history of refusing to transfer lethal weapons to crisis zones, including Ukraine. Government officials claimed they will follow the policy as recently as Friday.
However, Ukrainian officials and other allies have criticized the UK, which has the greatest economy in the 27-nation European Union, for failing to act decisively enough to assist Ukraine to fend off the Russian operation.
Germany had previously donated 5,000 helmets to Ukraine's defense, a move that was widely criticized on social media.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy welcomed the news of weapons shipments, posting praise for Scholz on Twitter: “Keep it up, Chancellor @OlafScholz! Anti-war coalition in action!”
Germany has just announced the provision of anti-tank grenade launchers and stinger missiles to Ukraine. Keep it up, Chancellor @OlafScholz! Anti-war coalition in action!— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) February 26, 2022
In addition, the German economy and climate ministry said Saturday that Germany will send 14 armored vehicles and up to 10,000 tons of fuel to Ukraine.
“After Russia’s shameless attack, Ukraine must be able to defend itself,” Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Economy Minister Robert Habeck said in a statement. “The federal government is therefore supporting Ukraine in providing urgently needed material.”
Baerbock and Habeck also stated that Germany favors a "targeted and functional restriction" of SWIFT after previously opposing the possibility of removing Russia from the global financial system.
What is needed is a strategy to “limit the collateral damage of decoupling from SWIFT in such a way that it affects the right people,” Baerbock and Habeck said.
US arms to Ukraine
According to John Kirby, the Pentagon Press Secretary, the increased aid includes "anti-armor, small guns, and various munitions, body armor, and similar equipment."
The support, which includes Javelin anti-tank weapons, will be supplied to Ukraine in stages and as quickly as feasible, according to a senior defense official. To discuss internal plans, the official spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Read this: US sends 90,7 tons of lethal aid to Ukraine
Other countries have committed military assistance. Italy declared earlier this week that it will deploy nonlethal military equipment such as demining equipment and soldier protection systems. Ukraine's requests for equipment are being looked into, according to France.
According to Herve Grandjean, spokesperson for the minister of the armed forces, France provided Ukraine with 100 million euros in armaments before the special operation, including short-range defense missiles.