Berlin will provide Ukraine more armored vehicles and rocket launch systems but not the battle tanks sought by Kyiv for its counter-offensive against Russia, Germany’s defense minister said Thursday.
Germany will supply two Mars II multiple-rocket launch systems, 200 missiles, and 50 armored “Dingo” troop carriers, Christine Lambrecht said.
Soviet-made BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles will also “very quickly” head to Ukraine from Greece, as a deal with Germany to replenish Athens’ stocks with the more modern Marder armored vehicles was close, said Lambrecht.
Ukraine has repeatedly asked for the German-made Marders as well as Leopard tanks. Neither figures in the list of the latest armaments pledged by Germany.
Berlin has argued that it will not “go it alone” on weapons deliveries, with Lambrecht pointing out that no other ally has transferred Western-made battle tanks to Ukraine.
On Thursday, Chancellor Olaf Scholz again defended Germany’s support for Ukraine.
“We are helping… because their fight is a fight that we are supporting,” he said in a speech, listing ways that Berlin had aided Ukraine, from supplying armaments to training troops.
“We have delivered more and more weapons.”
“Weapons deliveries from us — but also from our allies — have contributed to things turning out differently to how the Russian president planned.”
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has slammed Germany’s reluctance to send tanks, saying there was “not a single rational argument on why these weapons cannot be supplied.”
Lambrecht’s announcement came after German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock called for a speedy decision on deliveries of the Leopard tanks sought by Kyiv.