German military stock at its limit after supplying Ukraine – Der Spiegel – RT World News

Despite the shortages, members of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s coalition want him to put the Ukrainian military ahead of Germany.

Germany cannot deliver more weapons to Ukraine without depleting its own stockpiles, its defense ministry said. Although the military has reached the “acceptable limit” of what it can send, Chancellor Olaf Scholz is under intense pressure to keep arms flowing to kyiv.

“We went to the acceptable limit when selling Bundeswehr shares,” A spokesperson for Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht told Der Spiegel on Monday, a day after the German media published a guest article by lawmakers Kristian Klinck, Sara Nanni and Alexander Mueller calling on Germany to increase its deliveries of arms to Ukraine.

“The capability profile of the Bundeswehr (the German army) can and must temporarily take a back seat to the sustainability of Ukraine in the current critical situation. Because Ukraine’s survival is in the interest of Germany’s security policy. wrote the trio, which represents the three parties in Germany’s coalition government.

Since the start of the Russian military operation in February, Chancellor Scholz has faced persistent criticism for his apparent reluctance to offer Ukraine the weapons it has requested. While Berlin has sent artillery pieces, shoulder rockets and anti-aircraft tanks, Ukraine has requested more air defense systems and an artillery radar system, which have not yet been shipped. .

Germany’s military was in a severely depleted state long before February, with a 2019 report revealing less than 20% of the country’s 68 Tiger gunships and less than 30% of its 136 Eurofighter aircraft were operational. The report also revealed that ammunition stocks were low and soldiers lacked essential equipment, including boots, clothing and bedding.

Despite Scholz announcing an ambitious rearmament program in March, and despite the fact that the Bundeswehr’s budget has fallen from 37 billion euros ($36 billion) in 2017 to 50 billion euros ($49 billion ) this year, the army has not yet remedied these shortcomings. .

As early as March, Lambrecht described Bundeswehr stocks as “exhausted,” and Scholz also had to balance his stated desire to support Ukrainian forces with his insistence that Germany not send equipment powerful enough to escalate the conflict.

The situation is further aggravated by Germany’s promises to replenish the stockpiles of its allies, who are sending their own stockpiles of heavy weapons to Ukraine in exchange for replacement equipment from Germany.

Despite these limitations, Scholz recently insisted that Berlin provide “many weapons” in Kyiv, and will continue to give Ukraine “what he needs for his defense.” Scholz made the comments after retired Bundeswehr general Klaus Wittmann accused him of a lack of “leadership” and appear “intimidated” by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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