Germany will present Ukraine with extra navy assist price greater than 2.7 billion euros (USD 3 billion), together with tanks, anti-aircraft techniques and ammunition, the federal government mentioned Saturday. The announcement got here as preparations have been underway in Berlin for a potential first go to to Germany by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy since Russia invaded his nation final 12 months.
Defence Minister Boris Pistorius mentioned that Berlin desires to point out with the most recent package deal of arms “that Germany is critical in its assist” for Ukraine. “Germany will present all the assistance it could actually, so long as it takes,” he mentioned. Whereas Zelenskyy’s go to on Sunday has but to be formally confirmed, it might be an indication that relations between Ukraine and Germany have improved markedly after a rocky patch. Kyiv has lengthy been suspicious of Germany’s reliance on Russian power and assist for the Nord Stream gasoline pipelines circumventing Ukraine, defended by then Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Her successor, Olaf Scholz, agreed to section out Russian power imports after the invasion however initially hesitated to offer Ukraine with deadly weapons, fearing Germany might be drawn into the battle. With Washington, Warsaw and London extra overtly supportive of Ukraine’s efforts to defend itself, Berlin obtained the chilly diplomatic shoulder from Kyiv.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier was disinvited from Ukraine final 12 months, prompting annoyance in Germany, which identified that it has given appreciable monetary assist to Kyiv and brought in additional than one million Ukrainian refugees. Scholz finally visited Kyiv with French President Emmanuel Macron and different leaders in June. Although gradual to offer navy assist, Germany has since develop into one of many largest suppliers of arms to Ukraine, crucially giving the inexperienced gentle for deliveries of contemporary battle tanks like its personal Leopard 1 and a pair of, together with refined anti-aircraft techniques wanted to fend off drone and missile assaults.
The brand new navy assist package deal, first reported by German weekly Der Spiegel, contains 30 Leopard 1 A5 tanks, 20 Marder armored personnel carriers, greater than 100 fight automobiles, 18 self-propelled Howitzers, 200 reconnaissance drones, 4 IRIS-T SLM anti-aircraft techniques and different air protection tools. The Ukrainian president can be arriving from Rome, the place he’ll meet with Pope Francis and Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni.
Berlin police confirmed final week that they’re making ready for a potential go to by Zelenskyy and have imposed a safety cordon all through a lot of the capital’s authorities district Sunday. After assembly Scholz and different senior officers on the chancellery, the 2 leaders are anticipated to fly to the western metropolis of Aachen, the place Zelenskyy would obtain the Worldwide Charlemagne Prize awarded to him and the folks of Ukraine. Organizers say the award acknowledges that their resistance towards Russia’s invasion is a protection “not simply of the sovereignty of their nation and the lifetime of its residents, but additionally of Europe and European values.” Zelenskyy final visited Berlin in July 2021. He additionally attended the Munich Safety Convention the next February, days earlier than Russia launched its full-scale assault on Ukraine.
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