Germany promises to increase military aid to Ukraine – POLITICO

Germany will increase an overseas military support fund to two billion euros, much of which will go to Ukraine to help it buy weapons, Finance Minister Christian Lindner announced late on Friday.

Lindner wrote on Twitter that Germany will increase its training aid – a financial support instrument to strengthen military and security forces in partner countries – to 2 billion euros, adding that “the funds will largely benefit Ukraine”.

That fund was 225 million euros last year. The increase in foreign military aid will be part of Germany’s supplementary budget for this year, Lindner said, adding Chancellor Olaf Scholz had “requested it”.

Lindner’s tweet followed earlier reports by Reuters and German media that more than 1 billion euros of aid would go to Kyiv. Expecting a major Russian military offensive in the east of the country, Ukraine has called on Western allies, including Germany, to provide it with heavy weapons such as tanks, artillery, helicopters and fighter jets.

Germany has sent military supplies to Kyiv, including grenades, anti-aircraft missiles, machine guns and ammunition, but no heavy weapons.

The European Union decided last week to massively increase financial support for Ukraine’s military to 1.5 billion euros. Part of this support, which is also intended to enable Kyiv to buy weapons, is being financed by Germany. It is unclear how much of the fresh money announced by Lindner is actually new and how much of it Germany would have made available anyway as part of the Berlin EU commitments.

Lindner’s announcement follows growing criticism of the German government, and Scholz in particular, for hesitating to supply Ukraine with tanks and other heavy weapons.

Prominent MPs in the German governing coalition of the Social Democrats, Greens and Lindner’s FDP have asked Scholz to allow such deliveries.

But the issue is politically sensitive. Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck told POLITICO on Thursday there were concerns among NATO allies that deliveries of modern tanks could result in western countries being “overwhelmed”. [Russian] Aim yourself.” The Czech Republic is already shipping older Soviet-era tanks to Ukraine.

The newly announced financial support could allow Kyiv to buy tanks directly from German defense contractors like Rheinmetall, although it’s unclear whether Scholz and Habeck would agree to such sales.

Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann, who is from the FDP, told Die Welt am Sonntag that the delivery of heavy German weapons to the Ukraine is legally feasible without entering the war.

Ukraine is waging a legitimate defensive war against Russia, Buschmann said, “so if it is exercising its legitimate right to self-defense, supporting it with arms supplies cannot lead to becoming a party to the war.”

This is not just his personal opinion, but that of the federal government. Germany promises to increase military aid to Ukraine - POLITICO

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