Germany is studying what additional services and ammunition will be needed for its stockpiles of obsolete Marder infantry fighting vehicles so that Ukraine can use them, said Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbok.
On the second day of the Baltic tour, Baerbock addressed criticism from allies and commentators over Germany’s apparent delay in arms deliveries.
“There are no taboos for us with regard to armoured vehicles and other weaponry that Ukraine needs,” she told a news conference with her Estonian counterpart on Thursday, Reuters reports.
Earlier, the Bild newspaper accused Chancellor Olaf Scholz of blocking the supply of tanks, as Ukraine urgently needs heavy weapons to drive back the new Russian offensive, which is now focused on capturing the territory of eastern Donbass.
Although Ukraine’s light weapons and tactics have had some success in slowing Russia’s advance to stop the invasion and launch a counteroffensive, heavy weapons are needed on the battlefield, such as tanks and howitzers.
According to Baerbock, Germany’s priority was to ensure that Ukraine quickly received old Soviet weapons that the Ukrainian military could use without additional training. Germany is allegedly doing this by replacing the reserves of the allied countries, providing them with modern German-made equipment.
The German armed forces themselves have faced a shortage of equipment, she added, noting that German peacekeeping missions in Africa do not have all the necessary helicopters.
Under pressure from journalists to send a German Leopard tank to Ukraine, Baerbock said the Ukrainian military would need training to use such advanced kit and that Berlin would pay for it. This is probably a hint at the possibility of such supplies in the future.