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UKRAINE

Germany, Denmark and Norway to give Ukraine howitzers

Germany, Denmark and Norway will supply Ukraine with 16 armoured howitzer artillery systems from next year, Berlin said Sunday, as Kyiv seeks heavier weapons to boost its fightback against Russia.

Ukrainian soldiers ride on a self-propelled howitzer
Ukrainian soldiers ride on a self-propelled howitzer near Borivske, Kharkiv region, on September 29, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Germany, Denmark and Norway have agreed to supply howitzers to Ukraine. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP

The announcement came after German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht visited Ukraine this weekend for the first time since Moscow’s invasion in February.

Germany, Denmark and Norway had agreed to jointly finance the procurement of the Slovakian Zuzana-2 guns at a cost of 92 million euros ($90.2 million), said the defence ministry in Berlin.

They will be produced in Slovakia, with delivery to Ukraine to begin in 2023, it said.

The new pledge still falls short of what Ukraine has been asking for. Kyiv has repeatedly sought Leopard battle tanks from Germany, but Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government has refused.

Scholz has said he does not want to go it alone on arms supplies and will only take decisions in consultation with his Western allies.

Speaking on public broadcaster ARD, Lambrecht again defended Berlin’s weapons deliveries to Ukraine, insisting Germany was doing a lot to support Kyiv.

“We will continue to engage in a variety of ways and will again — as we have up until now — work together with partners,” she told the “Bericht aus Berlin” show.

She also insisted that Germany would not become a direct party to the conflict.

“It is very clear — for the German government as well as the whole of NATO: We will not become a party to the war,” Lambrecht said.

Her visit Saturday to the southern port city of Odessa came a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared the annexation of four Ukrainian regions.

The annexations were unanimously condemned by Ukraine’s allies, including Germany.

Lambrecht described how air raid sirens went off during her visit.

“We experienced that twice in a few hours, and had to move to a bunker. And for people there, that is reality,” she told the ARD show. “That is everyday life.”

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MILITARY

Denmark to send decommissioned tanks to Ukraine

Denmark is to send Leopard 1A5 tanks which it had taken out of service to Ukraine, as part of donations to be made by several countries.

Denmark to send decommissioned tanks to Ukraine

Tanks previously used by the Danish military are to be prepared and sent to Ukraine, broadcaster DR reported on Tuesday.

No specific number for the total number of tanks has been confirmed and the participating countries not specified.

But a three-figure number of older models could be donated once contributions from all countries are added up, according to the report.

A newer version of the tank, the Leopard 2 model, is currently used by the Danish military.

Denmark’s old Leopard 1A5 tanks were sold in 2010 to company FFG in northern German town Flensburg, where they are still located, DR reports.

The tanks are expected to be sent to Ukraine in the coming months.

Media in Denmark including broadcaster TV2 last week reported that 99 Danish Leopard tanks could be sent to Ukraine.

The Danish tanks were originally used during the war in the Balkans in 1994.

A director with the German company told TV2 that there had been contact with the Danish government over the tanks.

“I wouldn’t call it negotiations but we have spoken about the tanks and what we can do,” the sales director, Thorsten Peter, said.

The tanks are not currently ready for active duty and must undergo work before being used, according to Peter.

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