Apr 23, 2022
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Arms barter: Germany will make a “hard move” to Ukraine

Arms barter: Germany will make a

Photo: dpa/pick-alliance/TASS

In Berlin, they found a way to transfer heavy weapons and ammunition to Ukraine – though not always the most modern and not directly. This was reported by the Bloomberg agency with reference to a high-ranking representative of the German government, who asked not to be named. Since the negotiations between NATO and Ukraine are confidential, it is not recommended to disclose their details to the public.

The German side will provide Kyiv with weapons stored in the arsenals through the Eastern European states, “ready to transfer Soviet-era equipment to Ukraine,” Bloomberg reports. According to representatives of the FRG, the Ukrainian military have skills in working with Soviet military equipment, but not yet with European ones. Discussions are currently underway on which NATO states on the eastern flank are ready to cooperate with Berlin on this issue.

It is known that the Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholzwho previously stated that his country had exhausted the possibilities for supplying weapons to Ukraine, there is powerful pressure from the members of the ruling coalition, demanding more assistance to the Ukrainian authorities. During a recent video conference of the G7 countries, he said that the German government has asked arms manufacturers for information on how long they will be able to increase production for deliveries to Kyiv.

In addition, it was decided that the Ukrainian side will receive from Berlin ammunition for self-propelled artillery installations PzH 2000, which will be supplied by the Netherlands. It is also assumed that the Bundeswehr servicemen will train the Ukrainian military to handle equipment – due to the fact that it is difficult and dangerous to do this on the territory of the “independent” territory, therefore the “educational program” is planned to be conducted in Poland or Germany.

Former German Foreign Minister Annalena Burbock confirmed during a trip to Riga that her country would supply heavy weapons to Ukraine, but declined to provide details. The representative of the German government at a regular press conference also refused to comment on the publication in Bloomberg about helping the regime. Zelensky heavy weapons.

Military expert, deputy director of the Institute for Military and Political Analysis Alexander Khramchikhin wonders what kind of Soviet-style equipment can be mentioned in the materials of the Western media.

– As far as I know, all Soviet heavy military equipment remaining in Germany has by now either been disposed of or sold out – in any case, according to official data, this is how it is. As for the remnants of ATGMs or MANPADS, they have all been transferred to Kyiv earlier. Perhaps here we are talking about arming directly the armies of the Eastern European states, which have a lot of such equipment. Moreover, it is she who often forms the basis of their weapons in many areas. So, directly from the German side, apparently, the transfer of weapons from the Bundeswehr is being discussed.

SP: The Bloomberg article mentioned that the Ukrainian military cannot handle Western military equipment and that a training period is required. How long can it be?

– Differently. If you take into account individual weapons, then for an experienced fighter, preparation will not take much time – a matter of days. If we are talking about artillery – a week or two. If tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, then this is a long process. It is not clear how they are going to train specialists. The transfer of aircraft and training for pilots, as I understand it, is out of the question.

“SP”: – What difficulties can there be for the Ukrainian side in the use of Western technology?

“It is not clear where they will get the required amount of ammunition, how they will repair it. And who will carry out the repair and maintenance.

“SP”: – German Chancellor Scholz gathered representatives of the military-industrial complex in order to ask them to increase the production of weapons in order to supply Kyiv. How great are the possibilities of German companies in this regard?

“You see, it’s not the Second World War, when the warring powers, I’m sorry, sometimes riveted weapons at a frantic pace. Now is another time. The current weapons are quite complex and expensive. Not all enterprises are able to produce it. Another nuance is who will pay for its production. After all, the same Scholz not just recently stated that the resources of his country in the supply of weapons to Ukraine have been exhausted. Resources are also payment. The situation is such that increased supplies of equipment are devastating their own arsenals. But the Western countries themselves have driven themselves into such a trap that now, it seems, they do not understand how to get out of it.

According to military expert, editor-in-chief of the National Defense magazine Igor Korotchenkoon the contrary, the production of new weapons by the enterprises of the German military-industrial complex will not take a long time.

– If orders are formed for which the necessary financial resources are allocated, a political decision is made, they will indeed start producing the necessary weapons quite soon. For enterprises of the German military-industrial complex, which are distinguished by high technological equipment, this is extremely beneficial, so they are unlikely to be delayed in fulfilling orders. I don’t see any obstacles here. I won’t guess at what time frame this can happen, because there has not yet been information on the quantity and range of military equipment that can be ordered.

“SP”: – That is, Chancellor Scholz was quite sincere when he spoke about the depletion of the resources of the FRG in the supply of weapons?

– The equipment that they had in warehouses really came to an end, so he had to gather industrialists.

“SP”: – How fair are the assumptions that the Ukrainian side will pay for the supply of weapons from Russia’s frozen foreign reserves?

Indeed, such a proposal is being discussed. But this will require a consolidated decision of Western countries. And the probability that they will go for it, although not one hundred percent, but exists. In this case, it will no longer be a freezing of funds, but their confiscation with transfer to the government of Ukraine. Then this money will be irretrievably lost for us. But this will require both a political decision by Western states and appropriate legal procedures. Whether they will go for it remains to be seen.

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