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Scholz meets Ukrainian soldiers in Germany

August 25, 2022

The service members are in Germany for training on Gepard tanks. Chancellor Olaf Scholz has vowed to send even more heavy weapons to Ukraine in the coming months.

Olaf Scholz sits on a Gepard tank
Germany is set to deliver 30 Gepard tanks to UkraineImage: Marcus Brandt/dpa/picture alliance

Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited Ukrainian soldiers in northern Germany on Thursday, expressing his admiration for their "courage." The service members are in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein for training on German Gepard tanks.

Germany, Scholz said, wants to ensure that the soldiers have the support they need. He praised the Bundeswehr for providing the training.

He said the training was "an outstanding example" of Berlin's support for Ukraine. 

The chancellor met with the officers heading up the training before inspecting the Gepard tanks and posing for a photo op inside one. 

Scholz reiterated that Germany would deliver other heavy weapons systems to Ukraine, namely self-propelled howitzers, multiple rocket launchers and the Iris-T air defense system, which is capable of "performing the defense of the airspace of an entire city."

Scholz pledges €500 million

The trip marked a stark contrast from the early weeks of the war, when Scholz was accused of dithering about whether to send heavy weapons to Kyiv. Two days earlier, Scholz had promised Ukraine further arms deliveries worth more than €500 million. 

Germany is providing modern and effective weapons "because Ukraine has the right to defend its own country, integrity, independence and sovereignty" against Russian aggression, Scholz said.

es/fb (AFP, dpa)