Germany will give Eastern European countries modern weapons in exchange for the Soviet-era arms they give to Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in the Bundestag on Wednesday.
“New weapons shipments will arrive to Ukraine,” Scholz said, adding that the deal was part of an exchange agreement with Eastern European countries.
“The countries will hand over to Ukraine Soviet-era, easy-to-operate weapons, in exchange for which they will receive modern ones from Germany,” Scholz said. “We expended a lot of effort to make this happen,” he added.
The German chancellor, however, did not specify the countries that are part of the deal, the weapons to be delivered, or what Germany would actually offer in exchange.
Back in April, the German parliament approved the supply of armaments to Ukraine with an overwhelming majority (586 votes to 100), and there was a long list of weapons systems the country promised to Ukraine, including anti-tank weapons and anti-aircraft missiles, but so far there have been very few actual deliveries.
The first shipment of seven howitzers arrived in Ukraine on June 22, but press reports said Germany remained reluctant to send heavy weapons there for fear that should Ukrainian troops break into Russia using their weapons, Russia will see this as a direct German action against it.