Germany unveils new $3 billion arms package for Ukraine war effort

The package will include an additional 30 iconic Leopard tanks. (file)

Berlin, Germany:

Germany is preparing a new 2.7 billion euro arms package for Ukraine, the defense ministry said on Saturday, in what Berlin described as the biggest since Russia’s invasion last year.

Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said in a statement, “We all hope for an early end to this terrible war by Russia against the people of Ukraine, but unfortunately that is not in sight.”

“That is why Germany will provide all possible assistance as long as it is necessary,” he said.

The ministry said the $3 billion package would include 30 additional Leopard-1 tanks, Marder armored vehicles, air defense systems and surveillance drones.

Der Spiegel magazine said it would be Germany’s biggest since the outbreak of the war.

It comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is expected to travel to Rome on Saturday for talks with political leaders, which could be followed by a trip to Berlin.

German authorities have not confirmed the trip, but Berlin police have launched an investigation after details of a possible trip to the force surfaced in the media.

Since Russia sent its forces to Ukraine in February 2022, Western allies have delivered increasingly powerful weapons to Kiev, though not yet the advanced fighter jets requested by Zelensky.

Germany provided two billion euros of military aid last year and has earmarked 2.2 billion euros for this year, although details have yet to be finalised.

Berlin has also promised to supply its more advanced Leopard-2 tanks, and has begun training Ukrainian troops on their use.

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