German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Chief of Staff at the Chancellery Wolfgang Schmidt attend the weekly cabinet meeting of the German government at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, 10 May 2023. EFE-EPA/FILIP SINGER

Germany announces $3 billion military package for Ukraine

Berlin, May 13 (EFE).- Germany Saturday announced a new military aid package for Ukraine worth approximately $3 billion to help Kyiv boost its defenses in the war against Russia.

Two Leopard tanks during a military exercise at the 9th Panzerlehr Brigade of the German Bundeswehr in Munster, in northern Germany, on June 2, 2021. EFE-EPA/FOCKE STRANGMANN

The package, worth more than 2.7 billion euros, includes air defense systems, armored combat vehicles, artillery, tanks, and reconnaissance drones.

The German government’s decision to provide this level of support represents the largest military aid package to date, underscoring Berlin’s commitment to helping Ukraine defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“We all hope for a rapid end to this terrible war by Russia against the Ukrainian people, but unfortunately this is not in sight. This is why Germany will supply all the help that it can, for as long as necessary,” Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said in a statement.

According to the statement, the military aid package includes various equipment like 18-wheeled howitzers, artillery ammunition, guided missiles for air defense systems, four IRIS-T SLM fire units, and 12 IRIS-T SLS launchers.

Additionally, it comprises 30 Leopard 1 A5 main battle tanks, 20 Marder infantry fighting vehicles, over 100 armored fighting vehicles, and more than 200 reconnaissance drones.

Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said with the urgently needed military equipment, his government wanted to show “that Germany is serious in its support” for Ukraine.

German newsmagazine Der Spiegel, the first to report on the aid, said the package was Germany’s biggest to Ukraine since the Russian invasion in February 2022.

The magazine said the government would formally offer the military aid package during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s possible visit to Germany on Sunday.

Zelenskyy arrived in Rome Saturday for talks with political leaders and Pope Francis. A trip to Berlin will follow.

The Ukrainian president is likely to visit Aachen, in West Germany, on Sunday to receive the Charlemagne Prize for contribution to the unification of Europe.

Though not announced officially as yet, the visit would be Zelenskyy’s first to Germany since the start of the war with Russia. EFE