BERLIN — After a long national debate on sending heavy weapons to Ukraine, Germany Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht announced on Friday that Berlin would send seven PzH 2000 howitzers to fight Russian troops.
According to Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, one of the companies manufacturing the howitzers, the PzH 2000 is “the most powerful tube artillery system in the world”.
“With this, we add to the five Dutch self-propelled howitzers to reach a total of twelve,” Lambrecht’s ministry said in a statement. Tweeteradding that “howitzer training in Germany has been prepared and will start next week”.
Friday’s announcement came a week after Germany’s parliament voted to send ‘heavy weapons’ to Ukraine after weeks of intense debate in Germany over whether that would be a step too far, deepening the war that Russian President Vladimir Putin started in February.
Days before joining the heavy weapons side, Chancellor Olaf Scholz warned in an interview that “there must be no nuclear war”, adding that with Putin on the other side, it would be impossible to know “at what point we are perceived as a belligerent.”
But Scholz has since changed his tune, even shout at pacifists last week and calling them “cynical” for suggesting Ukrainians repel Russian attacks without weapons.
At a press conference on Thursday, the chancellor dismissed the idea that the war would end quickly.
“The incredible military commitment shown by Russia [in eastern Ukraine] gives no hope that this will all end anytime soon,” he said.