Germany has u-turned on its decision to directly militarily support Ukraine, as Russia’s foreign minister warned it could lead to World War Three.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz changed his mind after he was accused of stalling on fulfilling an order of German-made tanks, listed in Vlodymyr Zelensky’s so-called wish-list of military support.
Germany said it would give £830m to buy the weapons hall, including tanks and 100 ground vehicles.
It was reported that German manufacturer Krauss-Maffei Wegmann will be allowed to sell refurbished anti-aircraft tanks
This comes after political pressure in Germany led to Scholz delaying the delivery, with the country saying it would “significantly weaken” its own defence, and make it unable to meet Nato commitments. There was also political opposition from the Christian Democratic Union.
Amid reports of the delivery, Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov warned it would pose a “serious” threat of nuclear war if the West continued to arm Ukraine.
He added he “would not want to elevate those risks artificially. Many would like that. The danger is serious, real. And we must not underestimate it.”
Earlier this week, the United States’ Secretary of State Anthony Blinken committed more than $300m in defence funding, during a visit to Kyiv. During the trip, US secretary of defence Lloyd Austin said American wanted to see “Russia weakened” so it cannot pursue any further hostile military expansion.
Boris Johnson has also been urged to give Kyiv more arms, after it was revealed Ukrainian troops had received training in the UK.