The first delivery of heavy weapons from Germany to Ukraine is expected to take place within the next two weeks. According to the Ukrainian Ambassador Andriy Melnyk, his country should receive the seven self-propelled howitzers 2000 promised by the traffic light government by June 22nd. This is what the diplomat told the Ukrainian newspaper Novoe Vremya. According to this, shipments of “Gepard” anti-aircraft tanks should follow.
At the same time, Melnyk repeated his sharp criticism of the hesitant arms deliveries. “To date, on the 105th day of the Russian war against Ukraine, not a single piece of heavy equipment – at least artillery, howitzers, infantry fighting vehicles, tanks – has been delivered to Ukraine,” he said.
He made a similar statement the day before in the Tagesspiegel. However, the federal government has not yet decided on a date for arms deliveries.
Despite Ukrainian calls for more clarity, the federal government remains reticent about the timing of the delivery of heavy weapons systems to the country attacked by Russia. For organizational reasons and security issues, it is tricky to talk about schedules, government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said in Berlin on Friday.
The federal government has promised to supply heavy weapons, he emphasized. “The preparations are now in full swing so that this can work. But that doesn’t happen overnight.”
Hebestreit recalled the planned delivery of anti-aircraft vehicles such as the Gepard, the Panzerhaubitze 2000, the Iris-T anti-aircraft system and the Mars multiple rocket launcher. He understands the impatience, but these questions have to be clarified and examined very thoroughly “before you make a statement that you may not be able to keep”.