Ukraine news: Germany supplies Gepard anti-aircraft tanks | Current Europe | DW

The essentials in brief:

  • Germany supplies Ukraine with Gepard tanks
  • The Russian foreign minister warns of the third world war
  • UN Secretary-General initiates mediation efforts
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemns the diplomatic expulsion
  • Federal cabinet approves energy security amendment

Germany will deliver Gepard anti-aircraft tanks to Ukraine. defense secretary
At the beginning of a meeting of the heads of the departments of the allied countries in Ramstein, Rhineland-Palatinate, Christine Lambrecht says that the federal government decided on Monday. Arms manufacturer Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) will receive the green light to be able to sell technically refurbished anti-aircraft tanks from previous Bundeswehr stocks. The Federal Security Council, chaired by Chancellor Olaf Scholz, formally decides on the approval of the arms industry’s export applications.

Krauss-Maffei Wegmann has a two-digit average number of these tanks from the air defense of the loose Bundeswehr army. With its two 35mm machine guns, the cheetah can fight aerial targets such as airplanes, helicopters, drones or rockets up to six kilometers away. It can also be used in combat against grounded targets.

The ring change procedure is strengthened

Lambrecht also announced that Germany would expand the supply of heavy weapons in the ring swap process. “We have initiated an exchange of rings with our partners in Eastern Europe so that Ukraine can also quickly obtain heavy weapons that do not require long training,” she said. “They are supplying Soviet-made equipment to Ukraine and we are filling these gaps. There is still a lot to do here and we are ready to do it.” Germany also wants to be more involved in training Ukrainian troops on artillery systems on German soil.

At the start of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine two months ago, the German government had already decided to supply Ukraine with defensive weapons. The delivery of heavy weapons such as tanks has so far been refused. But in recent weeks the voices of the traffic light coalition of the SPD, the Greens and the FDP have also increased to make heavy weapons available.

International Crisis Meeting in Ramstein

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin opened the meeting at the US base in Ramstein on Tuesday morning. Defense ministers and chiefs of staff from numerous countries want to meet at the largest US air base outside the US to discuss how Ukraine can be further strengthened militarily after the Russian war of aggression. A few days ago, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby announced that the goal is to modernize the Ukrainian military and ensure it remains “powerful” in the future.

Lavrov warns of a new world war

According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, it is possible that the war in Ukraine will degenerate into a world war. “The danger is serious, it is real, it must not be underestimated,” Lavrov told Russian television. Asked about a comparison of the current situation with the time of the Cuban missile crisis, Lavrov said that “then there were really only a few rules, written rules”. But the “rules of conduct” were clear enough: Moscow was clear how Washington was behaving, and Washington was clear how Moscow was behaving.

Sergei Lavrov (archive image)

Even today, there are few rules, Lavrov said, referring to the New Start nuclear disarmament treaty. But “at the same time all other arms control and non-proliferation instruments are practically destroyed”. There was also a communication channel during the Cuban missile crisis that the leaders of the Soviet Union and the United States trusted. There is no such channel today, and no one is trying to create it.

In the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, the United States and the Soviet Union were on the verge of nuclear war. New Start is the only major arms control agreement left between the United States and Russia. It limits the nuclear arsenals of both countries to 800 delivery systems and 1,550 operational nuclear warheads.

As for Ukraine, however, Lavrov was confident that at the end of the conflict “an agreement would be signed”. Russia will continue negotiations with the Ukrainian delegation, Lavrov said. At the same time, he stressed: “Goodwill has its limits”. If it is not based on “reciprocity”, “it does not help the negotiation process”.

“You will get nothing”

According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Russia will not be successful in its war of aggression. In two months, the Russian armed forces used more than 1,100 rockets against Ukraine, countless aerial bombs and artillery. Some Ukrainian cities and communities have been razed, Zelenskii said in a new video speech released on Tuesday evening. “But they got nothing. And they won’t get anything.”

UN see “Moment of opportunity”

Before UN Secretary General António Guterres travels to Moscow and Kiev, the UN sees an opportunity to mediate in the war in Ukraine. “We feel there is a moment of opportunity and now is the time to seize it,” UN spokesman Farhan Haq said in New York. “If we move forward, even in small steps, it ultimately means a lot to tens or hundreds of thousands of people.”

Two months after the start of the war in Ukraine, Guterres will be received by Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Tuesday. The UN Secretary-General therefore plans to travel to Ukraine, where he will meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday.

Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary General of New York I

Antonio Guterres

Baerbock criticizes the diplomatic expulsion

Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock strongly condemned Russia’s expulsion of 40 German diplomats. The step was planned, but “it is in no way justified,” Baerbock said in Berlin. The employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who have now been expelled from the country “have not been guilty of anything”. They went to Russia with openness, interest and great commitment to serve bilateral relations there, despite increasingly adverse circumstances.

Russia had declared German diplomats “undesirable people” on Monday. It was Germany’s “symmetrical response” to a similar measure, she said.

Moscow - German Embassy

Entrance to the German Embassy in Moscow

Moscow: Ukraine does not use the escape corridor

Russia has accused the Ukrainian government of preventing civilians from leaving the besieged Azovstal industrial complex in the port city of Mariupol. Despite the ceasefire announcement, no one used Russia’s proposed escape corridor on Monday, the defense ministry in Moscow said.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk had previously stressed: “It is important to understand that a humanitarian corridor will only be opened after an agreement between the two parties”. A unilaterally announced escape corridor is unsafe.

Ukraine I Mariupol city view I Steelworks

Azovstal industrial area

Murderous plot against the Kremlin “propagandist”?

According to Russian authorities, they thwarted an attack on TV presenter Vladimir Solovyov near the Kremlin. Several members of the “neo-Nazi terror group National Socialism / White Power” were arrested, the FSB secret service said. The group had planned the “assassination” of Solovyov at the behest of the “Ukrainian secret services”.

Solovyov is one of the best-known faces in the Russian state media. He has been conducting political talk shows since the late 1990s. He has received an award from the Russian government for his work. He supports Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine. The European Union considers Solovyov a “Kremlin propagandist” and has sanctioned the TV presenter. The Italian police recently seized the journalist’s villas.

The federal government is preparing for a possible energy crisis

In view of the enormous consequences of the war in Ukraine for energy security, the federal government has initiated a strengthening of state control options. The federal cabinet has decided in a written circular procedure to amend the energy security law, which dates back to 1975, as announced by the Federal Ministry of Economy in Berlin. It also provides for the expropriation of businesses as a last resort if there is no other way to secure energy supply.

“Russia’s aggressive war against Ukraine, which violates international law, has led to a tense energy situation,” said Federal Economy Minister Robert Habeck (Greens). “The prices are high, there is a lot of uncertainty, there are risks. We must therefore prepare for the worsening of the situation”.

Refugees move to the royal castle

In the Netherlands, 32 refugees from Ukraine moved to the Het Oude Loo hunting lodge near Apeldoorn, which is normally used by the royal family. This was confirmed by the court of the Dutch press agency ANP. It is not yet clear how long the 15 women, five men and twelve children will remain in the castle. King William Alexander and his family live in The Hague.

Het Oude Loo Castle in Apeldoorn

Het Oude Loo Castle

se / sti / wa / cw (dw, dpa, afp, rtr, sueddeutsche.de)

This article will be continuously updated on the day of its publication. Reports from combat zones cannot be independently verified.

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