refuses extra-tank pledges for Ukraine

18 refuses extra-tank pledges for Ukraine

The Bundeswehr’s personal inventory is “restricted,” protection minister Boris Pistorius has defined

Germany can’t afford to pledge further predominant battle tanks to Ukraine, the nation’s protection minister, Boris Pistorius, mentioned on Saturday.

His remarks got here after Kiev warned that it might want extra heavy weapons for a counteroffensive towards Russia.

“I don’t see the supply of further Leopard tanks past those who have been already introduced,” Pistorius advised German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.

To be clear, identical to different nations, we solely have a restricted stock. As a federal protection minister, I can’t hand over every thing we’ve.

The minister said that “the prevailing gaps [in Germany’s own military] can’t be utterly closed by 2030 … It’s going to take years.”

“Within the medium time period, nevertheless, I imagine it is going to be attainable to fulfill Ukraine’s wants,” Pistorius mentioned. He added that Germany’s protection trade should ramp up the manufacturing of tanks and different heavy weapons, together with self-propelled howitzers. “Extra tools is at present wanted greater than at any time up to now.”

In line with Pistorius, Berlin and its European allies are dedicated to delivering two battalions of Leopard 2s, or simply over 60 automobiles. He reiterated that by subsequent yr EU nations may also provide greater than 100 of the older-model Leopard 1 tank.

Ukrainian officers said late final yr that Kiev wanted at the least 300 fashionable tanks, in addition to a whole lot of different armored automobiles and artillery items. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky warned this month that Kiev cannot launch an efficient counteroffensive towards Russian troops and not using a adequate quantity of Western weapons.

Some European nations have been struggling to search out sufficient tanks that may be donated to Ukraine. Switzerland revealed final month that Germany had formally requested it to promote a batch of its decommissioned Leopard 2s again to German producer Rheinmetall so Berlin may replenish its personal shares. German media, in the meantime, reported that, due to issues with tools, the Bundeswehr was ill-equipped to hold out a few of its commitments as a NATO member.

The scope of Germany’s navy help drew criticism from neighboring Poland, whose prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, argued final week that Berlin has not been “as beneficiant as they need to have been” by way of donating weapons to Ukraine.

Moscow mentioned up to now that the availability of Western weapons would delay the battle however would not change its course or final result. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has warned that NATO-supplied tanks would “burn” on the battlefield.

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