Germany reverses ban on weapons sales to Ukraine: reports
Berlin has reportedly given the go ahead for the Netherlands to sell 400 German-made rocket-propelled grenade launchers to Ukraine, EU officials told Politico. German government officials also confirmed the delivery to dpa and Reuters news agencies.
“The approval has been confirmed by the chancellery,” a German Defense Ministry spokesperson told Reuters.
The move marks a U-turn on Germany’s weekslong refusal to sell weapons to Ukraine due to the government’s line against selling weapons to conflict zones.
Germany also has the power to block any weapon with parts produced in Germany, something which it has been doing much to the anger of the Ukrainians.
DW Political Correspondent Thomas Sparrow said the policy change, if confirmed, would be a historic move by Berlin:
“This reported change, using a third country (The Netherlands) to allow Ukraine to receive weapons from Germany would certainly mark a change of direction in that very important policy [of not supplying weapons to conflict zones],” said Sparrow.
He added Germany had, until now, believed that sending weapons to Ukraine would make a diplomatic solution more difficult.
So far, Berlin had only offered some 5,000 military helmets and a field hospital to help Ukraine fend off the Russian invasion, an offer that has been mocked by some of Germany’s frustrated partners.
Several NATO countries have pledged to give or sell weapons to Ukraine following the Russian invasion, including $350 million (€310 million) in military aid from the US.