The German government has pledged further arms deliveries worth 2.7 billion euros to Ukraine ahead of a possible visit to Germany by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Among other things, 20 more Marder infantry fighting vehicles, 30 Leopard 1 tanks and 4 Iris-T-SLM anti-aircraft systems are to be provided, as the Ministry of Defense announced on Saturday in Berlin.
According to the ministry, it is about the delivery of further weapons worth around 2.7 billion euros by Germany. This would almost double Germany's arms aid to Ukraine since the start of the war in February 2022: Since the beginning of the war, the German government has approved arms deliveries worth 2.75 billion euros. Germany is thus one of the most important supporters of Ukraine - both militarily and financially.
Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) said of the new weapons package: "With this valuable contribution of urgently needed military material, we show once again that Germany is serious about its support." Everyone wished for an early end to Russia's terrible war against the Ukrainian people, which violates international law. "Unfortunately, this is not yet foreseeable. Therefore, Germany will provide all the help it can - as long as it takes" - as long as it is necessary, Pistorius added. First, the "mirror" had reported on the planned new weapons package.
Zelensky's visit to Germany remains open
It remained unclear on Saturday whether Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) would be able to receive Zelensky in Berlin at the weekend. On Sunday afternoon, Zelensky and the Ukrainian people will be honoured in Aachen with the Charlemagne Prize for Services to the Unity of Europe. Scholz will give the laudatory speech - even if Zelensky cannot be there himself. Other speakers include EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
According to the Ministry of Defence, the new package of measures follows the previous German support priorities. It includes, among other things, material from the fields of artillery, air defense, armored combat vehicles and engineering capabilities. Among other things, it includes 18 wheeled howitzers, artillery ammunition, guided missiles for air defense systems, 4 IRIS-T SLM fire units for anti-aircraft defense and 12 IRIS-T SLS launchers.
The package also includes 30 Leopard 1A5 main battle tanks and 20 Marder infantry fighting vehicles, more than 100 armored combat vehicles and over 200 reconnaissance drones. "All this and more comes from industrial stocks or industrial production," the ministry said. The implementation of the measures adopted by the Federal Government has been initiated.
Leopard, marten and cheetah
By the end of March, Ukraine had already received 18 modern Leopard 2A6 main battle tanks with ammunition from Germany. On January 25, after a long period of domestic political wrangling, the German government announced the goal of "quickly assembling two tank battalions with Leopard 2 tanks for Ukraine." In Ukraine, these are usually equipped with 31 tanks each. The main participants in the initiative are Poland, Norway, Canada and Spain.
In addition, Germany has so far delivered 40 Marder infantry fighting vehicles with ammunition from Bundeswehr and industrial stocks as well as 34 Gepard anti-aircraft tanks including about 6000,<> rounds of anti-aircraft tank ammunition. In addition, there are two armored recovery vehicles and two Bistent mine-clearing tanks.
Iris-T anti-aircraft systems
Germany has so far provided Ukraine with two Iris-T SLM air defense systems. The system, developed by the armaments company Diehl with other partners, is intended to help, among other things, to protect the capital Kyiv from Russian air strikes.
In April, Germany also handed over the Patriot air defence system to Ukraine for better defence against Russian air strikes. The Bundeswehr had also taken over the training of soldiers in a fast-track program. Patriot ("Phased Array Tracking Radar for Intercept on Target") is one of the most modern air defense systems in the world. It can be used to combat enemy aircraft, ballistic missiles and cruise missiles.