Following a similar move by France earlier this week, the leaders of the United States and Germany announced on Thursday that they were escalating military support for Kyiv to fend off Russian forces by sending armored fighting vehicles there.
Following a phone call between President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the two countries announced in a joint statement that the US would provide Bradley infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine and Germany would provide Marder infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine.
According to US officials, approximately 50 Bradley Fighting Vehicles will be included in the US weapons package, which will be announced on Friday as part of a $2.8 billion security assistance package.
According to Biden, “the war in Ukraine is at a critical point right now.” “We must exert every effort to support Ukraine’s defense against Russian aggression.”
According to the report, both nations agreed to train Ukrainian soldiers in their use, and Germany would also give Ukraine a Patriot air defense battery. Ukraine has seen some success on the battlefield since Russian forces invaded it in February of last year, but it has asked allies for more powerful weapons to defend itself.
President Biden and German Chancellor Scholz “expressed their shared determination to continue to provide the necessary financial, humanitarian, military, and diplomatic support to Ukraine for as long as needed,” according to the statement.
Volodomyr Zelenskiy, the president of Ukraine, thanked Germany for its assistance by writing on Twitter, “Germany is making an important contribution to intercepting all Russian missiles.”
In response to France’s announcement that it would be sending light AMX-10 RC armored combat vehicles, Scholz’s government came under pressure to increase military assistance to Ukraine.
Since the invasion, Scholz has increased defense spending and sent aid and weapons to Ukraine, but, like other Western powers, has occasionally held off on sending in powerful weapons out of concern that doing so might provoke a confrontation with Russia.
Additionally, he has stated that he will work with other NATO allies to coordinate the delivery of heavy weapons to Ukraine because he does not want to do it alone.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock stated that Ukraine needs weapons not only to defend itself but also to free areas under Russian occupation while she was in London.
She and her British counterpart James Cleverly spoke at a briefing and said, “We cannot allow anyone to doubt our support, and we must constantly look at what more we can do, especially in terms of military support.”
She added that this includes the weapons “Ukraine needs to free the occupied areas and the people who are suffering under Russian terror.”
Politicians in Germany had also reaffirmed their calls for Berlin to send tanks to Ukraine.
After the French announcement, Scholz’s junior coalition partner, the Free Democrats (FDP), Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, publicly reprimanded Scholz, saying that “other partner countries are once again leading the way.” Scholz is the head of the parliamentary defense committee.