Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said Germany will supply Ukraine with the IRIS-T modern air defence and radar systems, in an effort to step-up arms delivery amid criticism that Berlin is not doing enough to help Kyiv in its fight against Russia.
Speaking in Parliament, the German Chancellor said “The government has decided that we will send the IRIS-T system, the most modern system that Germany currently possesses”. The IRIS-T missiles are developed together with other NATO nations, according to Scholz, who said Berlin will be “sending more weapons” to Ukraine.
He averred Germany will also supply Ukraine with radar systems to help locate enemy artillery. Being under heavy pressure over the last weeks, Scholz’s government agreed to send heavy weapons, including self-propelled howitzers and Leopard tanks to Ukraine.
“We have been delivering continuously since the beginning of the war,” Scholz said, pointing to more than 15 million rounds of ammunition, 100,000 hand grenades and about 5,000 anti-tank mines sent to Ukraine since the start of Russia’s invasion on Thursday, February 24, 2022.
A Standing Agreement
Germany already agreed to deals with Greece and Czech Republic to send Soviet-era military equipment to Ukraine in exchange for more modern weapons from Berlin.
The announcement came at a time when Ukrainian forces are battling advancing Russian troops in the Eastern industrial region of the Donbas. Following a series of setbacks in previous weeks, Russian troops switched their focus to the Donbas region, planning to capture parts of the region which are not already controlled by Moscow-backed separatists.
Russian forces in a “frenzied push” seized half of the Eastern Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk, which is key to Moscow’s efforts to quickly complete the capture of the industrial Donbas region, the Mayor of the region told the media in an interview. Reports suggested that Russian forces seized most of Severodonetsk by Wednesday, June 1, 2022, as fierce fighting is underway in efforts by Russian forces to take full control of the city.
Military analysts said the battles in the Donbas are a race against time, signalling that the Kremlin is hoping for a victory before more Western arms arrive to bolster Ukraine’s defences.
Efforts by the US
However, the West is also hoping to tilt the balance. US President, Joe Biden, said on Wednesday, June 1, 2022, that the United States will provide Ukraine with the more advanced rocket systems that its leaders have asked for. In an essay published in the media, Mr. Biden said the rocket systems will enable Ukraine “to more precisely strike key targets”.
On Tuesday, May 31, 2022, Biden said that the US would not send Ukraine “rocket systems that can strike into Russia”. However, on Wednesday, June 1, 2022, Russia criticised Washington’s decision to supply advanced rocket systems to Ukraine, warning the move increases the risk of a direct confrontation between the two (Russia and the US).
READ ALSO: ‘Star Wars’ calls out racism after attacks on Moses Ingram
Leave a Reply