Germany to Provide Ukraine with Additional Military Aid Worth Over $3 Billion
Preparations for Ukrainian President’s Visit to Germany
Germany has announced that it will provide Ukraine with additional military aid worth more than 2.7 billion euros ($3 billion), including tanks, anti-aircraft systems, and ammunition. The announcement came as preparations were underway in Berlin for a possible first visit to Germany by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy since Russia invaded his country last year.
Germany’s Support for Ukraine
Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said that Berlin wants to show with the latest package of arms “that Germany is serious in its support” for Ukraine. “Germany will provide all the help it can, as long as it takes,” he said.
While Zelenskyy’s visit on Sunday has yet to be officially confirmed, it would be a sign that relations between Ukraine and Germany have improved markedly after a rocky patch.
Germany’s Reliance on Russian Energy
Kyiv has long been suspicious of Germany’s reliance on Russian energy and support for the Nord Stream gas pipelines circumventing Ukraine, defended by then Chancellor Angela Merkel. Her successor, Olaf Scholz, agreed to phase out Russian energy imports after the invasion but initially hesitated to provide Ukraine with lethal weapons, fearing Germany could be drawn into the conflict.
Germany’s Military Aid to Ukraine
With Washington, Warsaw, and London more overtly supportive of Ukraine’s efforts to defend itself, Berlin got the cold diplomatic shoulder from Kyiv. Though slow to provide military aid, Germany has since become one of the biggest suppliers of arms to Ukraine, crucially giving the green light for deliveries of modern battle tanks like its own Leopard 1 and 2, along with sophisticated anti-aircraft systems needed to fend off drone and missile attacks.
The new military aid package, first reported by German weekly Der Spiegel, includes:
- 30 Leopard 1 A5 tanks
- 20 Marder armored personnel carriers
- More than 100 combat vehicles
- 18 self-propelled Howitzers
- 200 reconnaissance drones
- 4 IRIS-T SLM anti-aircraft systems
- Other air defense equipment
It comes after Ukrainian military commanders said their troops recaptured more territory from Russian forces near the eastern city of Bakhmut amid speculation about a possible counteroffensive by Kyiv.
Visit to Germany by Ukrainian President
The Ukrainian president would be arriving from Rome, where he was meeting Saturday with Pope Francis and Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni. Berlin police confirmed last week that they are preparing for a possible visit by Zelensky and have imposed a security cordon throughout much of the capital’s government district Sunday.
After meeting Scholz and other senior officials at the chancellery, the two leaders are expected to fly to the western city of Aachen, where Zelensky would receive the International Charlemagne Prize awarded to him and the people of Ukraine. Organizers say the award recognizes that their resistance against Russia’s invasion is a defense “not just of the sovereignty of their country and the life of its citizens, but also of Europe and European values.”
Zelensky last visited Berlin in July 2021. He also attended the Munich Security Conference the following February, days before Russia launched its full-scale attack on Ukraine.
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