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Germany: Bundeswehr arms deliveries to Ukraine 'reached a limit'

Germany's defense minister says there's hardly any possibility left to supply Ukraine with weapons from the German military arsenal, and further deliveries would have to be made through the arms industry.

A German soldier equipped with an anti-aircraft missile system

Berlin has so far delivered military gear such as anti-tank, anti-aircraft and surface-to-air missiles as well as machine guns and ammunition to Ukraine

German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht has said that she sees hardly any possibilities left to supply Ukraine with weapons and equipment directly from the German military stockpiles

Talking to the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper, Lambrecht said that in order to maintain Germany's defense capability, future deliveries to Ukraine would increasingly have to be made directly via the arms industry.

"To this end, we are continuously coordinating with Ukraine," she said, in remarks published Saturday.

"In the case of deliveries from Bundeswehr stocks, however, I have to be honest, we have now reached a limit," Lambrecht said.

The German military must continue to be able to "ensure national and alliance defense," the minister said. "But that doesn't mean we can't do more for Ukraine," she stressed. 

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Lambrecht reiterated that she would not give details about Germany's arms deliveries to Ukraine. "There are good reasons that we have classified precisely this information," she underlined, pointing out that, "We have done so in response to an explicit request from Ukraine."

"One must always bear in mind: The moment the deliveries are published in detail, Russia would also have this information. And that alone would have military strategic implications." 

Berlin under pressure to deliver weapons

The minister's comments come at a time when pressure is growing on Berlin inside and outside the country to expand and accelerate weapons deliveries to Ukraine. There has also been criticism that Berlin's delivery of weapons is slow and inadequate.

Friedrich Merz, the head of the opposition Christian Democrats (CDU) in Germany, this week called for Germany to send heavier weaponry, such as tanks, to Ukraine.

Kyiv also recently requested the transfer of 100 Marder infantry vehicles and other heavy weapons.

"We need heavy weapons now. The Marder infantry fighting vehicle would be one way," Ukraine's envoy to Germany Andriy Melnyk told The Pioneer.

Marder infantry vehicles

Kyiv recently requested the transfer of 100 Marder infantry vehicles and other heavy weapons

Scholz defends Germany's response

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, however, hit back at claims that Germany was not delivering enough weapons to Kyiv this week.

Scholz said that a lot of weapons and equipment had been sent already and that further deliveries would follow. "We will deliver whatever we can in terms of weapons from the current stocks of the Bundeswehr, everything that makes sense and has a rapid impact," he said.

Scholz also rejected criticism that his defense minister had not organized the weapons deliveries quickly enough. "I know that Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht is doing everything feasible, taking into account decisions by our allies and the capabilities of the German army," the chancellor said.

Russia's military aggression on Ukraine forced Germany to abandon its longstanding practice of not sending weapons to conflict zones. Berlin has so far delivered military gear such as anti-tank, anti-aircraft and surface-to-air missiles as well as machine guns and ammunition.

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sri/fb (dpa, AFP)