Ukrainian diplomat accuses Germany of playing ‘shell game’ over heavy weapons supply

A former Ukrainian ambassador in Berlin and the current deputy foreign minister has accused Germany of playing a "shell game" over heavy arms supply to Kyiv.

Speaking late Wednesday to German public broadcaster ZDF, Andrij Melnyk first commented on Germany's new Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, calling him "someone who knows his stuff."

"And I trust him to really play an autonomous role. That he implements the decision of the Bundestag in April. According to which Ukraine was promised heavy weapons," he added.

But, Melnyk continued, "after that, it was just a shell game, a cat-and-mouse game. I was very often sent from pillar to post in the Defense Ministry."

When the show's host pointed out that a shell game usually implies criminal intent, the former ambassador said he only meant that Kyiv had often been told the German army no longer had certain weapons, but later it turned out that was not the case.

The politician also commented on further arms deliveries from Germany.

"We also need newer weapons systems, including fighter jets, which the Germans could supply. I'm talking mainly about Tornados - they will be phased out in the coming years. And replaced by the American F-35s," he said.

Pressure has been mounting on Germany to also provide Ukraine with Leopard main battle tanks, but Chancellor Olaf Scholz has so far steered clear of any commitment.

Poland and Finland have promised to send their Leopards to Ukraine, but require Germany's permission to do so.

Source: Anadolu Agency