Frankfurt, Germany – Germany will increase its weapons deliveries to Ukraine following the Russian invasion by sending an 2,700 anti-aircraft missiles to the conflict zone, a government source told AFP on Thursday.
The government “approved further support for Ukraine”, involving the delivery of STRELA-type anti-aircraft missiles of Soviet manufacture, which were previously used by the army of communist East Germany, the source said.
Germany’s first arms consignment of 1,000 anti-tank and another 500 anti-aircraft missiles has already been despatched to the front, the government said on Wednesday.
The move came after Germany reversed its long-standing policy of not sending weapons to conflict zones, a position which has its roots in the country’s Nazi-era war guilt.
On Saturday, Chancellor Olaf Scholz recognised that the Russian invasion represented a “turning point in history” that compelled Germany to rethink its priorities.
At the same time, Germany pledged to invest 100 billion euros ($111 billion) in the build-up of its own armed forces in the face of the Russian threat.
The government on Saturday also approved the delivery of German-made arms to Ukraine from third countries, including 400 anti-tank rocket launchers sent by the Netherlands.
Before the escalation of the conflict, Germany had only pledged to contribute helmets and offered to help build a field hospital in Ukraine.