Ukraine’s foreign minister has renewed criticism of Germany for failing to send tanks to help fight Russian forces, saying new weapons pledged by Berlin were “not what we need most”.
Berlin announced Thursday it would send Kyiv more multiple rocket launchers as well as “Dingo” armoured troop-carriers as Ukraine’s troops mount a lightning counter-offensive against Moscow’s forces.
But Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the German decisions were a “mystery”, and that there was a “weapon wall” in Berlin that Chancellor Olaf Scholz had to tear down.
“We ask for Leopard tanks and Marder (armoured vehicles), and Germany supplies armoured vehicles of the Dingo type,” he said in an interview with German newspaper the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, published online Friday.
“We are grateful for them. But that is not what we need most in combat… What is the problem? Why can’t we get what we need, and what Germany has?
“I get the impression there is a kind of weapon wall in Berlin — I think the time is ripe for the chancellor to tear down this wall.”
Germany has sent a raft of different armaments to Ukraine since Russia invaded in February but has so far refused to transfer Leopards and Marders, despite repeated requests from Kyiv.
Berlin argues it will not “go it alone” on weapons deliveries, despite mounting pressure at home and abroad. It points out that no other ally has transferred Western-made battle tanks to Ukraine.
Kyiv’s forces have recovered a swathe of territory in recent days in a lightning counter-offensive in the east, recapturing several towns from Russian forces.
But Ukrainian officials have also uncovered a grim legacy of occupation — mass burial sites and alleged “torture centres”.