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No supply of weapons to Kyiv, informs German defence minister

FILE PHOTO: German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht speaks as she visits Rukla military base, Lithuania December 19, 2021. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins/File Photo

For the time being, German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht said in an interview published on Saturday that Berlin is ruling out delivering weapons to Ukraine in the standoff with Russia. This comes only days after Britain began supplying Kyiv with anti-tank weapons.

The news: A bipartisan group of US senators also promised Ukraine armaments, including missiles, small arms, and boats, to help the country defend itself against an invasion in the face of a Russian military build-up on its borders.

  • Chancellor Olaf Scholz, on the other hand, has emphasised Berlin’s stance of refusing to transfer lethal weapons to conflict zones.
Service members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces gather near BM-21 “Grad” multiple rocket launchers during tactical military exercises at a shooting range in the Kherson region, Ukraine, January 19, 2022. Ukrainian Defence Ministry/Handout via REUTERS

What they’re saying: “I understand the desire to assist Ukraine, and we are already doing so,” Lambrecht told the weekly Welt am Sonntag.

  • “Ukraine will receive a complete field hospital together with the necessary training in February, all co-financed by Germany for 5.3 million euros ($6.01 million),” she added, emphasising that Germany had long treated badly injured Ukrainian troops in her military hospitals. But, for the time being, Berlin is unwilling to provide arms to Kyiv, according to the minister.
  • “We have to do everything to de-escalate. Currently, arms deliveries would not be helpful in this respect, there is agreement on this in the German government,” said Lambrecht.

Her comments aligned her with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who stated that Germany would not blame other countries for supplying arms to Ukraine.

  • “But I don’t think it is realistic that such deliveries could tip the military balance,” Baerbock told Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
  • “The most powerful weapon…is for NATO allies, EU member states and the G7 to make it clear (to Russia) that every fresh aggression will be answered with massive consequences.”

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