The Russian Embassy in Berlin on Friday sharply criticized Germany’s decision to supply armored personnel carriers and a Patriot air defense system to Ukraine.
“We resolutely condemn this decision and regard it as a further step towards the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine,” the diplomatic mission said in a statement.
It said the deliveries of heavy lethal weapons prove that Germany and the West have no interest in “seeking a peaceful solution to the conflict.”
The embassy warned that the step will seriously affect relations between Germany and Russia.
Germany and the US will supply Ukraine with Marder armored personnel carriers, Bradley combat tanks, and a Patriot missile battery, according to an announcement made after a phone call between Chancellor Olaf Scholz and President Joe Biden on Thursday.
German government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said up to 40 Marder light tanks would be delivered during the first quarter of the year.
Eastern European NATO countries have so far only sent Soviet-made battle tanks to the war zone. However, Ukraine has already received anti-aircraft, armored transport, and armored recovery vehicles from Western manufacturers.
German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck described the move as a good decision.
“Since the beginning of the war, we have increasingly expanded our support in cooperation with our partners. It is logical that we are also taking this step,” he said.
“Ukraine has the right to defend itself against Russian attacks and we have a duty to help it,” he added.
Germany has supplied Ukraine with weapons and military equipment worth €2.25 billion ($2.38 billion) since the war began on Feb. 24, including self-propelled howitzers, Gepard anti-aircraft tanks, and the Iris-T anti-aircraft system, which can protect an entire city.
Kyiv has also pressed Berlin to send Leopard 2 combat tanks, but Scholz has so far refused on the grounds that no other NATO country has made such tanks available.
Source: Anadolu Agency