BERLIN – German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Wednesday promised twice funding of potentially more important heavy weapons to Ukraine – an air defense system and a tracking radar to help Ukraine’s military identify supplies. Russian heavy artillery – and defend your government’s record of getting these weapons to Ukraine in a timely manner.
“This is also a decision we have taken to ensure Ukraine’s security with the most modern equipment,” Scholz said in an unusual speech to the German parliament. The air defense system is one of the most sophisticated in Germany’s arsenal, he said, and can be deployed to protect entire cities.
But Mr. Scholz did not immediately specify delivery times for the latest weapons.
During Wednesday’s parliamentary session, Friedrich Merz, the head of the conservative opposition, decried Germany’s failure to deliver some heavy weapons a month after the opposition and lawmakers The government voted in favor of such a delivery, while mocking Mr. Scholz.
“You talk a little more than usual, but the fact that you don’t say anything doesn’t change,” Mr. Merz said, to cheers from his group.
In response, Mr. Scholz said some of these weapons will be in Ukraine in a few weeks.
Scholz added that Germany had also sent 168 Ukrainian soldiers “especially seriously injured” for medical treatment.
The German government’s commitment to help Ukraine has caused some political ripples in Europe.
On Tuesday, speaking to reporters at the conclusion of a European Union summit in Brussels, Mr. Scholz announced that he had reached an agreement with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis of Greece, in which the Greeks would supplied Ukraine with Soviet-era BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles. and Germany will send an equal number of more modern alternatives to Greece.
The Greek Defense Ministry confirmed the agreement later in the day, without specifying the number of vehicles involved. But the deal has created some friction with the Greek opposition. “The government of Mitsotakis must stop making secret decisions on important national issues,” Greece’s main left-wing opposition party, Syriza, said in a statement on Tuesday.
Greece was one of the first European Union member states to provide aid to Ukraine after the Russian invasion in late February, sending Kalashnikov assault rifles and portable rocket launchers along with other supplies. whether other.
Last month, Germany made a similar tank-exchange deal with the Czech Republic to allow it to transfer Soviet arsenals to Ukraine. However, last week, President Andrzej Duda of Poland accused Berlin of rejecting a similar deal to replace tanks sent to Ukraine from Poland.