The Daily Telegraph

Germany has ‘reached limit’ of weapons it can provide

- By James Crisp and Jörg Luyken in Berlin

GERMANY will continue to support Ukraine, Olaf Scholz told Volodymyr Zelensky yesterday despite the chancellor’s defence minister saying that Berlin had “hit the limit” of army reserve weapons it could send to Kyiv.

Mr Scholz spoke to the Ukrainian president a day after reports he had rejected a request from Denys Shmyhal for state-of-the-art Leopard 2 tanks during the prime minister of Ukraine’s visit to Berlin at the weekend.

Bild reported Berlin would not grant a separate Ukrainian request for troop transport vehicles because they were needed for the German army.

The government rejected a request in March for some of its 500 Dingo transport vehicles, which would allow Ukrainian soldiers to move safely on the battlefiel­d, because of “internal demand”, despite the Bundeswehr not being involved in any combat missions.

The German government said the two leaders discussed support for Ukraine, including Mr Scholz’s plans for an internatio­nal donor conference to be held in Berlin for the reconstruc­tion of the war-torn country.

Christine Lambrecht, the defence minister, told the German parliament that “we have given an unbelievab­le amount from [our] stocks but I’ll say it quite clearly – we have hit a limit.”

Germany was in talks with its neighbours about the establishm­ent of a joint European air defence, she added.

She said that it was her priority to “ensure the defence of our country and our alliance in the future” but also promised that “we won’t ease up in our support to Ukraine”.

Critics have been pushing for Ms Lambrecht to donate more from the Bundeswehr’s stocks, arguing that giving Ukraine greater firepower would outweigh the costs of a short-term hit to the German defence capability.

The heavy weaponry Germany has sent to Ukraine had previously been decommissi­oned or has been ordered directly from German arms firms.

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