Germany pledges new €500 million arms package to Ukraine

German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius announced a new arms package – including missiles, artillery, drones and spare parts – worth €500 million ($542 million) to support Ukraine during a visit Thursday to the port city of Odessa.

“We will continue to support you in this defensive campaign,” Pistorius said on Thursday evening at a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Rustem Umerov in the Black Sea city.

Pistorius said that some of the materials were already about to be delivered.

The new package from Germany contains a large number of missiles for medium-range IRIS-T SLM air defence systems and a smaller number of SLS missiles with shorter ranges.

It also includes drones for reconnaissance and combat in the Black Sea as well as urgently needed spare parts such as replacement barrels for the artillery systems supplied by Germany and replacement engines for Leopard battle tanks.

One million rounds of ammunition for small arms will also be made available.

The delivery of 18 modern wheeled howitzers is to follow from 2025.

Germany will also finance industrial training courses for Ukrainian technicians. The package also includes funding for interference-free satellite communications.

Based on previous commitments by Berlin, further Leopard A1 and Leopard II A4 main battle tanks will be delivered from Spain this year. A total of 19 tanks will be made available to Ukraine from Spain, with Germany contribute €1 million to the restoration, maintenance and repair of each tank.

Also already in the works from Germany are additional Marder infantry fighting vehicles, armoured combat vehicles, anti-aircraft tanks and equipment for electronic warfare command and control capabilities.

Details of the German minister’s visit were kept secret ahead of his arrival for security reasons. It was the third visit by Pistorius since Russia’s all-out invasion in February 2022.

The visit comes amid advances by Russian forces in parts of Ukraine and heavy Russian airstrikes on Ukrainian cities. Kiev is especially struggling to halt Russia’s offensive in the north-eastern Kharkiv region.

Umerov stressed the importance of further arms deliveries by allies.

“Our partners must supply us with weapons so that we can push the enemy back behind the internationally recognized borders [of Ukraine],” he said.

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