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29 Aug, 2022 12:43

Germany can assume ‘special responsibility’ for arming Ukraine – Scholz

The chancellor sees his country’s aid as playing a crucial role in Kiev's defensive capabilities
Germany can assume ‘special responsibility’ for arming Ukraine – Scholz

Berlin can take on “special responsibility” in assisting Kiev to acquire the necessary artillery and air defenses in the conflict with Russia, Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said.

Germany and many other Western countries have been arming Ukraine following the launch of Russia’s military operation in the neighboring state in late February.

The EU should organize “a long-term and reliable division of labor between all partners of Ukraine,” Scholz said in a speech at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic on Monday.

“I can, for example, imagine that Germany will assume special responsibility in terms of building up Ukraine’s artillery and air defense capacities.” 

Scholz stated that Germany will supply Ukraine with “new state-of-the-art weapons, such as air defense and radar systems, and reconnaissance drones.”

“Our objective is a modern Ukrainian Armed Forces that are able to defend their country on a permanent basis,” the chancellor added.

Germany had previously been reluctant to send weapons to conflict zones, mostly for historical reasons dating back to World War II. However, Berlin has recently “undergone a fundamental change of heart on this issue,” Scholz said, adding that Germany will “keep on supporting [Ukraine], reliably and, above all, for as long as it takes.”

The German government announced last week that it would supply Kiev with an additional €500 million ($499.6 million) worth of arms. Berlin previously delivered Stinger anti-aircraft missile systems, Panzerhaubitze 2000 self-propelled howitzers, and Gepard anti-aircraft gun tanks to Ukraine, among other weapons.

EU defense ministers are set to discuss further military aid for Ukraine at an informal two-day gathering in Prague, which started on Monday.

The Kremlin has warned that “flooding” Ukraine with foreign weapons will exacerbate the conflict, but will have no impact on the outcome.