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4 reasons why Germany does not provide heavy weapons to Ukraine

4 reasons why Germany does not provide heavy weapons to Ukraine - Photo 1.

There are many reasons why Germany cannot send heavy weapons to Ukraine – Photo: DW

Follow your allies

According to Radio DW“Germany simply follows the lead of its allies” has been Prime Minister Olaf Scholz’s “mantra” since the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine.

Scholz said Germany is working closely with its North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and European Union (EU) partners. “Look at what our allies are doing,” he said at a press conference on April 19. The German chancellor pointed out that countries such as Canada, Britain and the United States are supplying the same weapons that Germany has sent to Ukraine.

As of early April, Germany’s spending on Ukraine’s military is about 186 million euros, according to the German Economy Ministry. That money was mainly used to buy rocket-propelled grenades, anti-aircraft missiles, machine guns, ammunition and protective gear but not heavy weapons.

According to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, heavy weapons refer to all tanks, armored vehicles and all types of artillery 100mm and above. Fighter planes and combat helicopters are also classified as heavy weapons.

The German army has been pulled to the limit

Germany said it could not send more military aid to Ukraine because the country had to fulfill its national and NATO obligations.

The German armed forces say they need heavy weapons, such as the Marder infantry fighting vehicle or the 2000 self-propelled howitzer. to secure national and coalition defense obligations.

For example, “To ensure the operational capability of the army, we need weapons systems,” German deputy inspector general Markus Laubenthal told ZDF television on April 20. He said the Marder tank will be necessary for national defense and NATO commitments.

4 reasons why Germany does not provide heavy weapons to Ukraine - Photo 2.

The PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzer is one of the most powerful artillery systems deployed – Photo: MILITARY TODAY

Ukrainian weapons that cannot be used immediately

The German government’s argument is that Ukrainian soldiers can only use weapons with which they feel familiar. On the other hand, new military equipment also requires a logistics team, not only to help Ukraine with repairs, but also with corresponding spare parts. This will be difficult in the context of the rapid development of the war in Ukraine.

German defense expert Carlo Masala considers this a reasonable concern. “What if the Marder tank has a problem, a technical problem? You don’t have spare parts. You don’t have a technician who can fix it,” he said.

However, former NATO general Hans-Lothar Domröse refutes claims that intensive training is required to master the use of the Marder combat vehicles. He did not mention repair logistics.

“We are talking about seasoned Ukrainian commanders who have been fighting since 2014. They don’t need to be taught how to use them. Those who used the Soviet BMP-1 model can do it themselves. got used to Marder in less than a week and got it up and running”.

Help more money and a creative solution

Scholz said Berlin is transferring more than 1 billion euros to finance Ukraine’s purchase of military equipment from Germany. He listed anti-tank weapons, anti-aircraft equipment and ammunition as examples, but did not mention the types of tanks and planes Ukraine was asking for.

One option that the German government is making is an exchange with Slovenia. NATO partners will send some T-72 battle tanks from the Soviet era to Ukraine. Then to make up for it, Germany will provide Marder do they produce it themselves for Slovenia.

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