After his announcement of new arms deliveries, the Ukrainian government missed actions by Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and called for an increase in aid. So far, there is no clarity as to when the MARS multiple rocket launchers will be delivered from Bundeswehr stocks, Ukrainian Ambassador Andriy Melnyk told the Tagesspiegel.
“We expect the traffic light to fulfill this promise expeditiously because our troops need this weapon system most urgently to protect Ukrainian civilians from barbaric attacks by Russia and to break the enormous military superiority.” Software problems could lead to long delays.
In addition, one unit from the IRIS-T SLM air defense system is not enough. “We call on the traffic light to expand this project in the field of IRIS for the future, because in the medium term we need at least 10 more such systems with ammunition to strengthen Ukraine’s defense capabilities,” stressed the ambassador.
“That could become a game changer, it would set a precedent if Germany for the first time didn’t deliver old heavy weapons, but really modern ones.”
Scholz had emphasized that entire cities could be protected from attacks with it, and it was developed by the Diehl armaments company in Baden-Württemberg. “We hope that the first system will be made available to the Ukrainian army as early as the end of October,” said Melnyk, expecting the schedule to be met. “We are really confident that this deadline will be met thanks to a very close confidential cooperation with the manufacturer.”
He also insists that the Panzerhaubitzen 2000, which has been promised for weeks, will be delivered first. “We hope that these seven Panzerhaubitzen 2000 will be delivered from Germany at the end of June. They are urgently needed because the Russians have and are using twenty times more artillery systems.” This leads to enormous casualties on the Ukrainian side.
“We are therefore calling on the traffic light to also hand over more German self-propelled howitzers, as other NATO partners are already doing, such as Norway, which has long since delivered 22 similar M109 howitzers and which are already in combat use in the Donbass.” According to his information, the Bundeswehr would be quite capable of delivering many more 000 self-propelled howitzers quickly. “We are also requesting traffic lights to allow the purchase of 100 new self-propelled howitzers that would be available over the next few years. The corresponding offer from the armaments industry has been available to the traffic light for weeks.
Melnyk has little hope when it comes to the delivery of tanks, the federal government refers to informal agreements that the western NATO countries do not deliver their own tanks directly to Ukraine – so Germany is not going its own way here, Scholz emphasizes the close coordination with NATO -Partners and recently sharply criticized a lot of ignorance about the help actually provided.
“We are very disappointed that the federal government has been blocking the delivery of 100 Marder infantry fighting vehicles and 88 Leopard 1 main battle tanks for 6 weeks. These could be delivered step by step immediately and directly by the manufacturer,” stressed Melnyk. “We don’t need ring trades that make things unnecessarily much more complicated.”