The federal government reserves an additional twelve billion euros for Ukraine
Berlin The federal government wants to spend significantly more money to Ukraine to provide long-term military support and at the same time to be able to replace material that has been surrendered by the Bundeswehr. According to the Federal Defense Minister, up to twelve billion euros are to be budgeted for by 2032 Boris Pistorius (SPD) said on Wednesday after a meeting of the budget committee. The householders had previously released the funds.
The Handelsblatt had already reported on Tuesday after a corresponding letter from Budget Secretary Florian Toncar (FDP) became known.
Germany is the largest supporter of Ukraine after the USA and Great Britain and has provided military equipment worth 2.7 billion euros since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression, including self-propelled howitzers, multiple rocket launchers, anti-aircraft tanks and an Iris-T SLM air defense system. Not included in the total are 18 Leopard 2A6 main battle tanks, the first of which were handed over to Ukraine this week.
Spare parts and ammunition are needed for the weapon systems – or replacements if equipment is destroyed in battles. “Due to the material losses of the Ukrainian armed forces, new supplies of material are required,” says Toncar’s letter, which was first reported by “Spiegel”. In order to be able to further equip the Ukrainian army with air defence, tracked vehicles or ammunition, procurement applications would have to be completed immediately.
So far, the federal budget for this year has earmarked 2.2 billion euros for upgrading partner states in the areas of security, defense and stabilization. Support services for Ukraine are financed from this budget title. The budget holders have now reallocated 1.9 billion euros that were originally reserved for dealing with the consequences of the Corona and Ukraine crises.
In addition, the funds for the upgrading initiative are to be increased by a good 1.3 billion euros this year, so that an additional 3.2 billion euros will be available in addition to the planned 2.2 billion euros. For the years 2024 to 2032, the Federal Ministry of Finance plans to use so-called commitment appropriations to allocate almost 8.4 billion euros to support Ukraine and to replace the armed forces to reserve.
Long-term assistance to Ukraine
In this way, the federal government wants to create a basis for long-term aid to the country, which has been under that of the Russian President for more than a year Wladimir Putin instigated war of aggression suffers.
Pistorius said the decision shows that Germany will also stand by the Ukrainians in their fight against Putin in the long term. Almost four billion euros would be spent on the replacement of ceded military equipment. Eight billion euros are intended for further support to Ukraine.
It was a long way from the hesitant delivery of 5,000 helmets at the beginning to the twelve billion euros for heavy equipment such as anti-aircraft guns, self-propelled howitzers or Leopard tanks, said Green Housekeeper Sebastian Schäfer, Vice-Chairman of the Special Funds Committee armed forces is.
“We were too slow and hesitant in supporting Ukraine in its fight for freedom against Russia’s brutal and illegal war of aggression.” With the release of the total of twelve billion euros, the coalition is now making it very clear “that Ukraine can rely on us and we have become a very reliable partner”.
Previously, most deliveries had been discussed and voted on individually, making the process lengthy and complicated. With the financial package, the government could conclude framework agreements with industry, which in turn can then supply the required material directly to Ukraine.
According to information from security circles, the leadership in Kiev is preparing for an offensive to liberate more parts of their territory from Russia’s hands. In addition to tanks, Ukraine primarily needs ammunition, which has meanwhile become scarce on both sides.
In his letter to the householders, State Secretary Toncar dampened hopes that the hostilities would end soon. Support for Ukraine is expected to last for several more years.
This is how the Handelsblatt reports on the Ukraine war:
FDPDefense politician Marcus Faber welcomed the expansion of aid: “Unfortunately, providing Ukraine with more funds to buy weapons against Putin’s invasion is necessary and the best investment in our security,” he told the Handelsblatt.
As reported from industry circles, the householders should also advise on the purchase of 19 Leopard 2 tanks for the Bundeswehr on Wednesday. There is also a framework agreement for a total of 123 Leopard 2 to give the manufacturers planning security and to enable their capacities to be increased. The framework also covers orders from other nations that are interested in purchasing new or additional battle tanks.
With regard to the Leopard 2, Pistorius said that the contracts should be signed before the summer break. But one has to acknowledge that the production of “a very significant number” of modern Type 2A7 Leopard tanks will then also take longer. You have to reckon with two years plus two months until the tanks that have been handed in are back in stock.
More: You can find the latest news on developments in the Ukraine war in our news blog