Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has slammed Germany for refusing to provide it with Leopard tanks and Marder infantry fighting vehicles it has asked for as Ukraine continues to try and push Russian forces out of territory they are occupying in the east and south of the country.
“Disappointing signals from Germany while Ukraine needs Leopards and Marders now — to liberate people and save them from genocide. Not a single rational argument on why these weapons cannot be supplied, only abstract fears and excuses,” he said in a an unusually blunt comment on Twitter on September 13.
“What is Berlin afraid of that Kyiv is not?” he added.
Kuleba’s comments come a day after Berlin rejected Kyiv’s call for battle tanks at a time when some analysts say Ukraine is gaining an upper hand in its battle against occupying Russian forces and high-tech battle vehicles would give them even more momentum.
German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said that no other countries were currently supplying such vehicles and Germany would not do so unilaterally.
The German government has been criticized — sometimes even from within — for its reluctance to provide heavy weaponry to Ukraine while other NATO members have.
But Lambrecht said on September 12 that Germany has a leading role in Europe and must ensure it can defend itself.
“It’s not so simple just to say: I’ll just risk that we won’t be able to act, the defense of the country, by giving everything away. No, I won’t do that,” she said. “But we have other possibilities, from industry, with our partners.”