Germany: Bundeswehr arms supplies to Ukraine “have reached a limit” | News | DW

German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said she no longer sees much scope for supplying Ukraine with weapons and equipment directly from German military stocks.

Talk to Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper, Lambrecht said that to maintain Germany’s defense capability, future deliveries to Ukraine should increasingly be made directly through the arms industry.

“To this end, we are constantly coordinating with Ukraine,” she said, in remarks published on Saturday.

“In the case of deliveries from Bundeswehr stocks, however, I have to be honest, we have now reached a limit,” Lambrecht said.

The German army must continue to be able “to ensure national and alliance defence”, the minister said. “But that doesn’t mean we can’t do more for Ukraine,” she said.

Lambrecht reiterated that she would not give details of arms deliveries from Germany to Ukraine. “There are good reasons why we have precisely classified this information”, she underlined, stressing that “we did it in response to an explicit request from Ukraine”.

“Always keep in mind: By the time the deliveries are released in detail, Russia would also have this information. And that alone would have military strategic implications.”

Berlin under pressure to deliver weapons

The minister’s comments come at a time of growing pressure on Berlin from inside and outside the country to expand and speed up arms deliveries to Ukraine. There have also been criticisms that Berlin’s arms delivery is slow and inadequate.

Friedrich Merz, the leader of the Christian Democratic (CDU) opposition in Germany, this week called on Germany to send heavier weapons, such as tanks, to Ukraine.

Kyiv also recently requested the transfer of 100 Marder infantry vehicles and other heavy weapons.

“We need heavy weapons now. The Marder infantry fighting vehicle would be one way,” Ukrainian envoy to Germany Andriy Melnyk told The Pioneer.

kyiv recently requested the transfer of 100 Marder infantry vehicles and other heavy weapons

Scholz defends Germany’s response

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, however, hit back at claims that Germany was not delivering enough weapons to kyiv this week.

Scholz said a lot of weapons and equipment had already been sent and more deliveries would follow. “We will deliver everything we can in terms of weapons from current Bundeswehr stocks, anything that makes sense and has a quick impact,” he said.

Scholz also dismissed criticism that his defense minister did not organize arms deliveries quickly enough. “I know that Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht is doing everything possible, taking into account the decisions of our allies and the capabilities of the German army,” said the Chancellor.

Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine has forced Germany to abandon its long-standing practice of not sending weapons into conflict zones. So far, Berlin has delivered military equipment such as anti-tank, anti-aircraft and surface-to-air missiles as well as machine guns and ammunition.

sri/fb (dpa, AFP)

Martin E. Berry