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Scholz wants ‘immediately effective’ weapons for Ukraine

Germany plans to concentrate its efforts on providing Ukrainian forces with artillery pieces, munitions and air defense systems, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Wednesday following a closed government meeting. Berlin wants the weapons it sends to Kiev to be “immediately effective,” he said, adding that most Germans supposedly back the government’s “carefully weighed” policy on Ukraine.

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“The truth is that Germany is the second largest supplier [of weapons to Ukraine] after the US,” Scholz told journalists at a joint press conference held alongside ruling coalition leaders. He then listed the weapons Berlin had already provided to Kiev, including tanks, air defense systems like IRIS-T, and US-made Patriots, adding that it always seeks to send weapons that can make a difference on the battlefield.

Germany plans to focus on “artillery, ammunition and air defense,” the chancellor said when asked what types of weapons Germany plans to send to Kiev next and if long-range Taurus missiles are on the agenda. He didn’t mention the missiles in question by name.

“The majority of citizens… agree with the policy of the Federal Government” on aiding Kiev, Scholz said, adding that this is so since Berlin “carefully considers all the issues” linked to this assistance.

Every decision on providing aid to Ukraine is “very difficult,” Scholz explained, and his cabinet “does not take decisions on the spur of the moment” but acts only when it believes it “has something to say and to do.”

“That is the reason why there is still a lot of support for the policy of helping Ukraine not just financially but also with arms,” the chancellor said.

Berlin’s military assistance to Ukraine has repeatedly been called into question by the German public, with the Taurus long-range missiles being just the latest divisive issue on the agenda. Several polls carried out over the past few weeks showed that between 50% and 66% of Germans opposed sending the Swedish-German projectiles to Kiev.

Earlier, German citizens spoke against providing Ukraine with tanks and fighter jets, 45% and 64% respectively, according to various surveys. Scholz was also booed and heckled over his Ukraine policies at his own party’s rally in June.

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