Defense Minister Lambrecht has announced further arms deliveries to Ukraine. Kiev will not receive the requested armored infantry fighting vehicles. But the ring swap with Greece is “on the home stretch”.
Germany will supply Ukraine with two more Mars multiple rocket launchers and 50 Dingo armored vehicles. This was announced by German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD). In addition, Kiev would also receive 200 missiles for the multiple rocket launchers. With this, the German government wants to further support Ukraine’s progress in pushing back the Russian army.
“The brutal Russian attack on Ukraine is a watershed. And we are clearly standing by the Ukrainians in their courageous fight, through the imposition of sanctions against Russia. We offer refuge to about one million refugees,” Lambrecht said. “It is encouraging to see the successes Ukraine has been able to achieve, especially in recent days, also with the help of German weapons.” Lambrecht did not announce deliveries of infantry fighting vehicles and battle tanks, as requested by Ukraine. However, the ring swap with Greece, which has been in the pipeline for months, is “on the home straight.
Greece will then deliver 40 Soviet-designed BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine in return for 40 German Marder infantry fighting vehicles from German industrial stocks. “The first tanks can then be delivered from Greece to Ukraine very quickly,” Lambrecht said at the start of the Bundeswehr meeting.
The Bundeswehr had already delivered three multiple rocket launchers to Ukraine in mid-July; the artillery systems can take aim at military targets at long range. Lambrecht stressed at a Bundeswehr meeting that the further deliveries would not worsen the force’s operational readiness. So far, her ministry had refused to supply the protected “Dingo” vehicles because they were urgently needed by the Bundeswehr.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) had previously urged a quick decision on the delivery of German battle tanks to Ukraine. The German arms deliveries would “obviously very clearly” help “save human lives,” Baerbock told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “A foreign policy guided by human rights” must “constantly ask how we can help liberate even more villages and thus save lives” through further deliveries.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has for days been facing demands from the traffic light coalition to also supply Ukraine with infantry fighting vehicles and battle tanks. However, both Scholz and Defense Minister Lambrecht (SPD) warn against Germany going it alone. They point out that no other country has yet supplied Western-designed infantry fighting vehicles or battle tanks to Ukraine.
Military and civilian experts are discussing the future course of the German armed forces at the Bundeswehr conference. Lambrecht was joined on the first day by Inspector General Eberhard Zorn – Germany’s highest-ranking soldier – to speak. On Friday, Chancellor Scholz is expected to attend the meeting in Berlin.
The event is themed “The Bundeswehr at the Turn of the Times – a Critical Stocktaking in Times of War in Europe.” The Defense Ministry calls the conference a milestone in one of the most far-reaching processes of change in the Bundeswehr since the end of the East-West conflict.