Germany to send heavy weapons to Ukraine


German Chancellor Olaf Scholz attended a news conference at the European Union leaders summit, in Brussels, Belgium on May 31, 2022, as EU leaders try to agree on Russian oil sanctions in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. After pleas from Kyiv and German opposition parties to step up heavy weapons deliveries, Germany will supply Ukraine with the IRIS-T air defence system, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said.

Scholz said Germany had been providing a steady supply of ammunition, 100,000 grenades and more than 5,000 anti-tank mines sent to Ukraine since Russia invaded the country on February 24.

The government decided that we will deliver the most modern air defence system that Germany has in the form of the IRIS-T, according to Scholz, speaking to lawmakers in the Bundestag.

A security source told Reuters last month that Germany was considering providing IRIS-T SLM medium-range surface-to-air defence systems to Ukraine.

In a speech to parliament, Scholz said that his government had responded to the Russian attack with a massive change of policy in Germany by allowing heavy weapons into a war zone.

Ukraine's requests for heavy weapons intensified in recent weeks when Moscow turned its fiercest firepower on the country's east after failing to take the capital, Kyiv.

Scholz said Germany's partners were working on ways to arm Ukraine against the Russian attack.

On Tuesday, the chancellor announced that Germany would deliver infantry fighting vehicles IFV to Greece so that the government in Athens can pass on Soviet-style weapons to Ukraine.