Pistorius promises: Ukraine will get tanks “by the end of March”

Status: 01/26/2023 12:13 p.m

By the end of the first quarter, Ukraine is to receive main battle tanks from Germany. This was announced by Defense Minister Pistorius. He wants to quickly discuss with the armaments industry how stocks of the Bundeswehr can be replenished.

Federal Defense Minister Boris Pistorius has promised Ukraine the delivery of German “Leopard 2” tanks by “the end of March”. Kyiv will receive the tanks by the “end of the first quarter,” said Pistorius after his arrival during a visit to the troops in Saxony-Anhalt, where, according to his ministry, he was gaining insight “into the gunnery and combat training of the logisticians of the armed forces base and the army’s armored infantrymen.” wants to get.

When asked if this was timely to strengthen Ukraine ahead of an expected Russian spring offensive, Pistorius said that for all he knew, this was “timely”.

The federal government announced on Wednesday that it would be supplying “Leopard” battle tanks to Ukraine, and other countries now also want to deliver German-made tanks of this kind. Previous German deliveries include the Patriot anti-aircraft system, Gepard anti-aircraft tanks and the Iris-T anti-aircraft system.

After tank commitment to Ukraine: Federal Defense Minister Pistorius visits troops for the first time

Sven Knobloch, MDR, daily news at 2:00 p.m., January 26, 2023

Pistorius: “Do what is necessary”

The aim is to enable the Ukrainian armed forces to “successfully fight against the Russian troops,” emphasized Pistorius. He again rejected criticism of the tough decision-making process. It was important “to make the decision in a balanced way and not alone”. But now “we do what is necessary”.

Training on the “Marder” should start quickly

Pistorius also announced that the training of Ukrainian soldiers on “Marder” tanks should begin “within days”. With the “Leopard” this will be “a little later”. In the first week of January, the German government had promised to supply Marder armored personnel carriers.

Discussions with the armaments industry in the near future

The arms deliveries to Ukraine are creating gaps in the Bundeswehr, which the federal government wants to close as quickly as possible. Pistorius said on Wednesday evening in the daily topics, these gaps due to the delivery of arms to Ukraine add to the replacement deficits that have been “heaped up properly” in recent years. “We are now doing everything we can to ensure that things are quickly replenished,” emphasized the minister. He wants to hold talks with the armaments industry very soon, probably as early as next week.

Pistorius added: “We need more armaments industry in Germany, but, I think, also in concert in Europe.” Politicians from the SPD and the Union also called for better coordination of arms production in Europe.

When visiting the troops in Saxony-Anhalt, Pistorius added that there must be mutual planning security. This applies to politics for orders, while business is responsible for delivery times. Especially when it comes to ammunition, there is also the “question of quantity”

The SPD defense expert Wolfgang Hellmich encouraged Pistorius in his approach. “We have to get together very quickly with the armaments industry to go into production on the replacement for the “Leopard” tanks,” said the defense policy spokesman for the SPD parliamentary group in the editorial network Germany. “We have to come together with start-up financing and long-term purchase guarantees because our country’s security requires it.”

“We are not acting alone either,” Boris Pistorius, Defense Minister, on the “Leopard 2” delivery to Ukraine

daily topics 10:15 p.m., 25.1.2023

Kretschmer advocates diplomatic efforts

Criticism of the “Leopard” commitment comes from Saxony’s Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer. Almost a year ago, it was still clear that Germany would not supply heavy weapons and would not take part in the war in Ukraine, the CDU politician said MDR. The fact that this is now being hollowed out scares people. Kretschmer again stressed the need for diplomatic efforts.

Pistorius announced last week that arms and equipment worth a billion euros would be delivered to Ukraine in the spring. This increases the total amount of German military aid since the beginning of the war to 3.3 billion euros.

Union calls for long-term support strategy

The defense policy spokesman for the Union faction, Florian Hahn, called it “fundamentally important for Germany’s defense capability to immediately procure ‘Leopard’ tanks, ammunition and everything else that the Bundeswehr had to give up”. In the “Augsburger Allgemeine”, the CSU politician called for a long-term support strategy that the manufacturers could also adapt to.

In this context, Chancellor Olaf Scholz criticized former Union defense ministers for making mistakes. “In many cases, the productions have to be re-established,” said the SPD politician in the evening on the ZDF program “What now, Mr. Scholz”.

There are not enough spare parts or ammunition for many weapons. There is no constant production in interaction with industry. “Something like that shouldn’t happen to us in the future.” Now the Bundeswehr must be equipped in the next few years so that it is capable of defending the country.

Defense Minister Pistorius: Close gaps in weapons in the Bundeswehr quickly

Markus Sambale, ARD Berlin, 26.1.2023 5:53 a.m

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