Germany has given the green light to supply 58 Cold War-era armored vehicles to Ukraine, a spokesman for the Defense Ministry told the Welt newspaper on Friday. While the infantry fighting vehicles (IVFs) are currently owned by a Czech firm, any attempt to transfer them to third parties still requires approval from Berlin due to the end-user agreement.
The Soviet BMP-1, the military hardware in question, was designed in the 1960s and originally belonged to what was formerly East Germany, but ended up in the inventory of the German military after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of the country. They were transferred to Sweden in the late 1990s, where they were upgraded to a PbV-501 version.
The armored vehicles were ultimately sold to the Czech Republic, which tried to pass them onto Ukraine in 2019, the newspaper reported. At the time, however, the company that owned the IFVs failed to secure permission to do so from Berlin.