Germany to send anti-tank weapons and missiles to Ukraine, in major reversal of restrictive arms export policy that ‘marks a turning point’ for the country
Bethany Biron – February 26, 2022
- Germany is sending 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 Stinger missiles to Ukraine.
- The announcement marks a reversal of restrictive policies in Germany that prohibited sending arms to conflict areas.
- “The Russian attack marks a turning point,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Saturday.
Germany is planning to send 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 Stinger missiles to Ukraine, according to a statement made by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Saturday.
“The Russian attack marks a turning point,” Scholz wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “It is our duty to do our best to help Ukraine defend against the invading army of Putin. That’s why we’re supplying 1000 anti-tank weapons and 500 stinger missiles to our friends in Ukraine.”
The announcement marks a significant shift of Germany’s restrictive arms export policy. The country has previously said it held “historical responsibilities” that prevented it from sending weapons and arms to conflict areas, often citing guilt for crimes committed against the Soviet Union during World War II.
As part of the new stance, Germany is also lifting restrictions it previously held among NATO allies that prohibited sending German-based arms to conflict areas. This will allow countries like the Netherlands to ship 400 rocket-propelled grenades to Ukraine, Axios reported.
Ukranian officials and leaders in allied countries banned from sending arms expressed frustration over the strict policies in recent weeks, heading into Russia’s attack against Ukraine on Thursday. The reversal comes as Russian forces continue their advance into the Ukranian capital of Kyiv, where the mayor announced a strict curfew on Friday.
The decision could also foster wider support from the European Union, particularly given Germany’s vast economic power and stature. The country also holds a large percentage of the continent’s arms and ammunition, according to Politico.