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Germany to send Ukraine €2.7 billion military aid package

May 13, 2023

Germany's Defense Ministry has announced a new military aid package for Ukraine, which will include 20 additional Marder infantry fighting vehicles, 30 Leopard 1 tanks and four IRIS-T-SLM air defense systems.

Marder infantry fighting vehicles in Germany
Among other things, Germany will provide Ukraine with 20 additional Marder infantry fighting vehiclesImage: Philipp Schulze/dpa/picture alliance

Berlin has promised Ukraine further arms deliveries worth €2.7 billion ($2.95 billion) ahead of a possible visit to Germany by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the German Defense Ministry said on Saturday.

According to the ministry, the package includes 20 more Marder infantry fighting vehicles, 30 Leopard-1 tanks and four IRIS-T-SLM air defense systems.

"We all hope for a rapid end to this terrible war by Russia against the Ukrainian people, but unfortunately this is not in sight. This is why Germany will supply all the help that it can, for as long as necessary," Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said in a statement.

Biggest German military aid package yet

German newsmagazine Der Spiegel was the first to report on the aid. It said the package, which is Germany's biggest yet to Ukraine, would also include 15 Gepard anti-aircraft tanks, 200 reconnaissance drones, anti-aircraft ammunition, additional artillery ammunition and more than 200 armored combat and logistics vehicles.

Ukraine has pressed its allies for long-range weapons, jets and ammunition before a counteroffensive expected in the coming weeks or months.

Germany was initially reluctant to send heavy arms to Ukraine to help it confront Russia's invasion, fearing it might escalate the fight. But, in January, Berlin agreed to send its Leopard tanks and said it would work with allies to send more.

How Germany relaxed cautious stance on Ukraine military aid

Zelenskyy could visit Germany soon

Germany last year provided Ukraine with military support worth €2 billion and had earmarked €2.2 billion for this year, though details had not yet been finalized.

The new German military aid package comes as the Ukrainian president arrived in Rome for talks with political leaders, which could be followed by a trip to Berlin.

Zelenskyy is due to be awarded the prestigious Charlemagne Prize in the German city of Aachen on Sunday on behalf of the Ukrainian people. It remains unclear whether he will attend the prize ceremony in person.

dh/rc (dpa, AFP, Reuters)