German officials are discussing whether to buy Israel’s Arrow 3 missile defense system, the government said on Monday, adding that given the war in Ukraine, Berlin must reconsider potential threats from Russia.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government is in the “preliminary phase of a discussion” about acquiring the system, chief spokesman Steffen Hebestreit told reporters.
Scholz tells it himself Talk show host Anne Will in a TV interview on Sunday night that buying the system “is certainly one of the things we’re discussing, with good reason”.
Earlier on Sunday, the Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported that Berlin was considering buying the Arrow 3 missile shield, capable of intercepting long-range ballistic missiles at high altitudes such as the stratosphere. The system would cost €2 billion and could be operational by 2025, the report said.
Russia has stationed Iskander missiles in its Kaliningrad exclave that could reach many European cities like Berlin within minutes and fly too high to be destroyed by conventional air defense systems. Scholz said on Sunday evening that Germany and the EU must ensure that Moscow cannot use this threat to blackmail Europe into making concessions.
“We all have to adjust to the fact that we have a neighbor who is currently willing to use violence to assert his interests. So we have to work together to make sure that doesn’t happen,” he said.
Hebestreit specified that there are still no concrete purchase talks, but added that in the event of possible threats from Moscow, “some issues that we have assessed differently in recent years must be reconsidered”.
Scholz announced last month that his government would set up a €100 billion special fund to boost defense spending in Germany.
https://www.politico.eu/article/germany-in-preliminary-discussions-to-buy-israeli-air-defense-system/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication Germany debates buying Israeli missile defense system - POLITICO