Ukraine PM demands munition for German IRIS-T
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal asks the West to supply them with missiles for the IRIS-T air defense system days after it is supplied.
Kiev urgently needs missiles for the German IRIS-T air defense system recently delivered to Ukraine, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on Saturday.
"First of all, we need air defense. Germany has already supplied us with the IRIS-T system. It has been in operation for a week and has already saved many lives, especially around Kiev," Shmyhal told the German Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.
"Unfortunately, we only have one such system at the moment, and we are looking forward to the next delivery of ammunition, and of course the next system," he added, noting that the next shipment is expected to arrive in November.
The prime minister stressed that Ukraine urgently needed the air defense missiles, stressing that "every day counts."
German news outlet Der Speigel reported earlier in the month that Berlin transferred a single IRIS-T air defense system to Ukraine.
In total, Berlin plans to deliver four such systems to Kiev. According to Der Spiegel, the handover was made near the Polish-Ukrainian border.
German media had reported a day earlier that Germany was more than unprepared for a prolonged armed conflict due to low-running ammunition stockpiles that would only last for up to two days.
German Parliament defense commissioner Eva Hoegl told Business Insider that her country needed an additional 20 billion euros ($19.4 billion) to acquire enough munitions to meet NATO requirements.
There have been reports for months saying the German military was running out of weapons that can be sent to Ukraine, with Kiev still projected to be dependent on defense assistance from Berlin.
Germany is Ukraine's biggest European backer, with Berlin continuing to transfer weaponry to Ukraine that even its own forces do not have.
Ukraine became the second largest importer of German weapons after Berlin approved the exportation of $584 million worth of weaponry to Ukraine within the first 6 months of 2022.
Scholz announced on June 1 that Germany would deliver the IRIS-T system to Ukraine, capable of shielding a city from Russian air raids, attempting to reverse Germany's reputation that it has not been aiding Ukraine as it should.