Germany will supply the armies of Volodymyr Zelensky with Guepard armored vehicles

The German Defense Minister announced on Tuesday the delivery of Cheetah armored vehicles to Ukraine, which will be a turning point in Berlin’s cautious policy of military support to Ukraine.

“We have decided that Germany is going to supply Guepard anti-aircraft tanks to Ukraine,” Minister Christine Lambrecht said at the opening of a meeting with her Western counterparts at the US military base in Ramstein, USA. of Germany

The number is still unknown

The number of tanks specializing in air defense is not specified. These machines will come from the stocks of the German defense industry, not from the limited reserves of the German army. About 40 countries are gathering at the Ramstein Air Base on Tuesday at the invitation of the United States to bolster the defenses of Ukraine, which US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said “could defeat” Russia if it had the means.

France has already announced that it is sending Caesar guns with a range of 40 kilometers, while Great Britain has donated Starstreak anti-aircraft missiles and armored vehicles.

Parliamentary pressure

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, for his part, seriously blames his neighbors in Central Europe and the Baltics for his refusal to supply the heavy weapons claimed by Ukraine. These critics see him in part as a continuation of the pro-Russian tropism of his social democratic party SPD.

In Germany itself, political debate has been heated in recent weeks, including within the governing coalition, where the Greens and Liberals see insufficient support for Kyiv and are calling on the director general to allow the supply of offensive equipment, including armored vehicles.

Parliamentary groups of the three ruling parties agreed on Tuesday to appeal to the government of Olaf Scholz with a request to deliver heavy weapons to Ukraine, according to a draft submission to the Bundestag.

Speed ​​up delivery

The SPD, Greens and VDP groups will this week ask the government to “continue and, if possible, accelerate supplies of necessary equipment to Ukraine, as well as expand supplies of heavy weapons and complex systems, for example, in the context of cyclical exchange.” ” with the participation of other European countries, according to this draft proposal.

The training also includes training of the Ukrainian military in Germany and other NATO countries on the use of the delivered systems. “In the beginning, we supplied Ukraine with a large amount of weapons from German army warehouses, such as bazookas and anti-aircraft missiles,” Christine Lambrecht said of the Ramstein base.

A symbolic order

Now the principle, Christine Lambrecht explained, is that Ukraine “orders” from industrial groups, and “Germany pays”. Funds aimed at improving Ukrainian military capabilities will thus be increased to two billion euros, the minister confirmed.

Germany also announced last week that it would ship tanks to Slovenia so that the former Yugoslavian country could transfer its own Soviet armored vehicles to Ukraine. This type of circular exchange could be discussed with other Eastern European countries.

Chancellor Scholz has so far justified his cautious policy on heavy weapons by a concern to avoid a direct confrontation between NATO and Russia, a nuclear power. “Germany was criticized. But the numbers say otherwise,” Lambrecht argued on Tuesday morning, recalling, in particular, the large-scale defense investments announced by Germany at the end of February.

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