Weapons for Ukraine: Promises before Ramstein

Weapons for Ukraine: Promises before Ramstein

ffor the new Secretary of Defense Boris Pistorius (SPD) begins Thursday with a dense series of appointments. First, at eight o’clock, he will receive the certificate of appointment from Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who has previously presented SPD politician Christine Lambrecht with her certificate of dismissal. Then Pistorius drove to the Reichstag building to take his oath of office in front of the Bundestag and its President Bärbel Bas (SPD). He swears that he will devote all his energy to the well-being of the German people, increase their benefit and protect them from harm. The new minister is then driven to the Bendler Block, the Berlin office of the Ministry of Defence. There he is received with military honors and greeted by Inspector General Eberhard Zorn.

Thomas Gutschker

Political correspondent for the European Union, NATO and the Benelux countries based in Brussels.

Majid Sattar

Political correspondent for North America based in Washington.

Pistorius doesn’t have much time for initial talks. Because half an hour later, the first and probably most important ally comes to visit, the American Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. Pistorius has to talk to him about the upcoming Ramstein meeting on Friday, at which defense ministers from numerous supporter states will discuss further military aid for the Ukraine discuss. Pistorius will not be able to avoid speaking for the German government on the delivery of Leopard tanks to Kyiv, whose armed forces are defending against Russia’s attack.

At the weekend, Pistorius has his first Franco-German meeting, a joint cabinet meeting where he can meet his French colleague Sébastien Lecornu. In between, Pistorius will take a first look at the numerous information folders that the heads of the armed services, department heads of the Ministry of Defense and many others have recommended to him.

Israel refuses to supply arms

Among them will surely be news about the war in Ukraine, what weapon systems Kyiv would like to have and which equipment Germany has already been supplying. An important item is the supply of ammunition for artillery, which plays an enormous role at the current stage of the war, since Russian and Ukrainian troops are shelling each other with thousands of shells every day.

Before the Ukraine Contact Group meeting at the US Air Force Base in Ramstein The Pentagon is therefore continuing to try to bridge the ammunition bottleneck in the Ukrainian armed forces. As the “New York Times” reports with reference to American and Israeli government officials, artillery shells from an American arms depot in Israel are to be made available to Kyiv. About half of the 300,000 155mm artillery shells destined for Kyiv have already been shipped to Europe. They are to be delivered to Ukraine via Poland. In this way, Washington hopes to bridge the Ukrainian ammunition shortage until the defense industry can meet the demand.

The US decision to use the arms cache in Israel (as well as one in South Korea) has been discussed with former Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid. But it has only just become known. austin informed then-Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz of America’s request. As a result, the Israeli cabinet dealt with the matter. Lapid then agreed to avoid tensions with Washington. The ammunition is American property. In emergencies, however, the Israeli armed forces could use the weapons cache that the American forces had built for conflicts in the Middle East.

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