Delayed German arms deliveries to Ukraine cause controversy. Kyiv has been putting pressure on lately. But Berlin remains cautious given the schedule.

Despite Ukrainian calls for more clarity on the timing of the delivery of heavy weapons systems to the country attacked by Russia, the German government is still keeping a low profile.

For organizational reasons and security issues, it is tricky to talk about schedules, government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said in Berlin on Friday. The federal government has promised the delivery of heavy weapons, he emphasized. “The preparations are now in full swing so that this can work. But that doesn’t happen overnight.”

Hebestreit recalled the planned delivery of anti-aircraft vehicles such as the Gepard, the Panzerhaubitze 2000, the Iris-T anti-aircraft system and the Mars multiple rocket launcher. He understands the impatience, but these questions have to be clarified and examined very thoroughly “before you make a statement that you may not be able to keep”.

Ukrainian soldiers are currently being trained in Germany on weapons such as the Panzerhaubitze 2000, Hebestreit said. “In this respect, it makes sense that the weapons on which they are trained are also in Germany.”

Criticism from the Ambassador of Ukraine Melnyk

The Ukrainian ambassador in Germany, Andriy Melnyk, had previously criticized in the “Tagesspiegel” (Online) that there was no clarity as to when the Mars multiple rocket launchers from Bundeswehr stocks would be handed over. “We expect the traffic light to fulfill this promise expeditiously because our troops need this weapon system most urgently to protect Ukrainian civilians from barbaric attacks by Russia.” In addition, one unit of the Iris-T air defense system is not enough. In the medium term, Ukraine needs at least ten more such systems, including ammunition, to strengthen its defense capabilities.

At the beginning of June, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) announced in the Bundestag that Iris-T would be delivered and a locating radar to be used to detect artillery positions. Germany also wants to deliver four multiple rocket launchers from Bundeswehr stocks to Ukraine.