It was reported by ConservativeBrief that the German government has agreed to provide weapons including anti-tank missiles to Ukraine as its forces continue to battle against tens of thousands of Russian troops following last week’s invasion.
Politico reports that the government of Chancellor Olaf Scholz made the decision on Saturday, in what was a historic shift away from the decades-old policy of never sending weapons to active conflicts.
Germany had come under withering pressure from NATO and the European Union to step up and help out the Ukrainians whose military is badly outmatched by superior Russian firepower and technology, not to mention sheer numbers of professional troops:
From its own stockpile, the German government will send 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 Stinger anti-aircraft defense systems to Ukraine. The government has also authorized the Netherlands to send Ukraine 400 rocket-propelled grenade launchers and told Estonia [to] … send nine howitzers.
A government spokesperson said the weapons will be delivered “as soon as possible.”
Until Saturday, Germany had stuck to its longstanding practice of not permitting lethal weapons that it controlled to be transferred into a conflict zone.
Russia / Ukraine Poll
That stance bewildered some European officials, even more so after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a full-scale invasion and launched missile strikes on Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital.
“The Russian invasion of Ukraine marks a turning point,” Scholz said in a statement. “It threatens our entire post-war order. In this situation, it is our duty to do our utmost to support Ukraine in defending itself against Vladimir Putin’s invading army. Germany stands closely by Ukraine’s side.”
The major policy reversal may be the beginning of a rapid and significant increase in military assistance for Ukraine, whose civilian population has been pressed into military service by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, himself choosing to remain in his country to meet the Russian onslaught rather than accept offers to evacuate him.
That’s because a major portion of weaponry and ammunition on the European continent are at least partially manufactured by Germany, which in turn has given Berlin legal control over how and when they can be transferred.
That said, Politico noted further that the reversal won’t mean carte blanche transferring of weapons; each case will be considered and decided on an individual basis.
“Before Saturday’s turnaround, senior Ukrainian officials had been complaining bitterly for weeks about Germany’s refusal to allow arms shipments to bolster Ukraine’s defenses,” the outlet reported.
“Estonia, in particular, had said it wanted to send old howitzers but was prevented from doing so because Germany was withholding its approval. Estonia bought the weapons from Finland, which gave its sign-off, but Germany also has to OK the transfer because it originally sold the howitzers to Finland,” the report continued.