Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has promised Ukraine the delivery of a modern air defense system to fight Russian attackers. In addition, the Ukrainian armed forces will be provided with a modern tracking radar that can spot artillery, Scholz said on Wednesday in the Bundestag.
Germany wants to deliver four multiple rocket launchers from Bundeswehr stocks to Ukraine. The German Press Agency learned on Wednesday from government circles that this is being done in close coordination with the USA, which would also take over the training of Ukrainian soldiers on the systems.
According to Scholz, the air defense system is the Iris-T from the manufacturer Diehl. This will deliver the most modern air defense system that Germany has. “This will enable Ukraine to protect an entire city from Russian air raids,” said Scholz. Ukraine has long requested the delivery of anti-aircraft systems to protect itself against attacks by Russian fighter jets, helicopters, missiles or drones.
“In the coming weeks, we will deliver twelve of the most modern self-propelled howitzers in the world to Ukraine, in close cooperation with the Dutch,” Scholz continued. The training of Ukrainian soldiers will be completed in a few days.
Immediately after the start of the war, the federal government decided to supply German weapons for the first time in an ongoing war against a nuclear power. So far, among other things, bazookas, anti-aircraft missiles and many millions of rounds of ammunition have been delivered.
In the past few weeks, the federal government had already made two commitments for the delivery of heavy weapons: 50 Gepard anti-aircraft tanks and 7 self-propelled howitzers 2000 – modern artillery pieces with a range of 40 kilometers – are to be delivered to the Ukraine. But they haven’t gotten there yet. The opposition has repeatedly accused Scholz of hesitation in recent weeks.
At the beginning of the general debate, opposition leader Friedrich Merz accused Scholz of a lack of support for Ukraine in defending against the Russian war of aggression. More than a month after a corresponding decision by the Bundestag, promised heavy weapons had not been delivered, said the CDU leader. If you ask around in the European Union, there is now only resentment, disappointment and “really annoyed” about Germany’s role.
Merz said to Scholz: “You’ve been talking a little more than usual lately, but you’re still saying nothing.” He criticized Scholz for formulating that Russia should not win the war instead of simply saying: “Ukraine must.” win this war.” The chancellor is on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but has no appointment for the Ukrainian speaker of the parliament, who is coming to Berlin.
Merz accused the chancellor of not having made any concrete decisions after his determination that Russia’s war of aggression had turned the tide. “There is nothing that you seriously associate with this word “turning point” apart from new debts.”
Scholz then attacked Merz unusually sharply in his replica. Merz will not get away with always asking questions and never taking a correct position on something, said the Chancellor. “You danced through the matter here and didn’t say anything specific.” And if Merz takes a position on something, then “it gets embarrassing,” said Scholz.
In terms of content, the Chancellor criticized that Merz had proposed a soli, i.e. a tax increase for almost all citizens, in order to pay for the better equipment of the Bundeswehr. “What a strange idea,” said Scholz.