Berlin According to the newspaper “Bild am Sonntag”, the federal government is examining the installation of an Israeli “Arrow 3” missile protection shield on the territory of the Federal Republic. This is intended to strengthen Germany’s defensive readiness against possible missile attacks from Russia.
The system is also known as the “Iron Dome” and works with a missile radar system that could send data to the national command post at Uedem on the Lower Rhine.
Information about an approaching missile and its possible target could then be transmitted to various locations in the country where anti-missile missiles would be stationed to launch an enemy missile.
Ready to use in three years
According to “Bild am Sonntag”, the system would be ready for use as early as 2025 and would be relatively inexpensive around two billion euros. A spokesman for the defense ministry declined to confirm the news, according to the news agency Dpa. He stressed that the economic plan for the 100 billion dollar special fund is still being coordinated. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and Bundeswehr Inspector General Eberhard Zorn discussed on Wednesday how to use the € 100 billion special fund to strengthen troops.
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The main speaker of the Defense Budget Committee, Andreas Schwarz (SPD), told “Bild am Sonntag” that he considered the “Arrow 3” system a good solution for better protection against the Russian military threat.
Military experts doubt that the system would be able to protect the entire federal territory from Russian missile attacks. An iron dome like the one in Israel can only protect larger cities, such as Hamburg, Munich or Berlin, former NATO general Hans-Lothar Domröse told the Germany editorial network.
The “Iron Dome” was installed in Israel in 2010 and, according to the manufacturer, has a success rate of around 90%. According to various media reports, however, the rocket defense rate from the Gaza Strip was significantly lower.
Countries bordering Germany could also use the protective shield if they in turn install anti-missile missiles on their territory. Radar devices are considered powerful enough to cover Romania, the Baltic states or Poland as well.
Flashing: no strategy for the transition of power in Russia
US President Joe Biden also expressed concern for the security of Eastern European NATO members during his visit to Poland. In his speech in the Polish capital Warsaw, however, Biden created confusion when he uttered the sentence about Russian President Vladimir Putin: “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.” Internationally, his statement was intended as a call for regime change in Russia.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov then told the Russian news agency Tass: “Personal insults always close the window of opportunity for our bilateral relations under the current government.” After the president’s statements, the White House felt compelled to back down. A spokesperson for the Office of the President of the United States made it clear that what was meant was that Putin should not have exercised power over neighboring countries or the region.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also said in Jerusalem that the US has repeatedly claimed that it has no strategy for a change of power in Russia or elsewhere. This is always a matter for the people in the country concerned. Referring to Putin, Biden wished to express that the Russian president should not have the power to wage wars or aggression against Ukraine or other countries.
More Handelsblatt articles on the war in Ukraine
Meanwhile, Ukrainian authorities are trying to evacuate people from the heavily disputed cities of Mariupol and Luhansk Oblast. Mariupol Mayor Vadym Bojchenko described the actions of the Russian armed forces as genocide. The Russian army had acted mercilessly against all residents of the city, which in the meantime had been severely damaged.
The defenders put up “heroic resistance” in extremely heavy combat. The Ukrainian flag will continue to fly over the city, it will remain a Ukrainian city. “And our soldiers are doing everything to ensure that this is the case in the future,” Bojchenko said. However, some parts of the city are already under Russian control. “The city is surrounded, the ring is getting tighter and tighter”.
New evacuation attempts
Mariupol refugees will be picked up by a bus convoy from the nearby city of Berdyansk, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk announced. 15 buses were supposed to take people to the central Ukrainian city of Zaporizhia.
A second escape corridor has been designated for Sunday in Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region. On Saturday, 5,200 people managed to escape from particularly hard-fought areas through ten defined routes, as reported by the UNIAN agency. According to unverifiable Russian information, more than 90 percent of the Luhansk region is under the control of Moscow-backed separatists.
More recently, Mariupol authorities had indicated that the number of civilian deaths was 2,187. “I can say that the number is now significantly higher,” Boychenko said, without giving further details. More than half of the original 540,000 inhabitants have already been evacuated.
On Saturday, another 4,331 people were able to leave Mariupol through the humanitarian corridors. A total of 5,208 people from Ukraine were rescued in this way.
Steinmeier also speaks of “tougher days” in Germany
Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier also prepared people in Germany for difficult times due to the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. The severe sanctions have inevitably led to uncertainty and losses for us.
“We are facing tougher days in Germany too,” he said in a video message for a Berlin Philharmonic concert at Bellevue Palace on Sunday. “We will have to be ready to wear them if our solidarity is not just in words, if it is to be taken seriously”.
Those days would change the world and us too – “maybe faster than we thought possible,” said Steinmeier. “And the whole truth is: there are still many difficulties ahead of us.” Despite all ongoing diplomatic efforts to end the war, the following holds true: “Our solidarity and support, our steadfastness and our willingness to make restrictions will be required for a long time to come.”
With agency material.
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