Boris Pistorius has brushed off criticism that Berlin is giving Kiev “too little to win and too much to lose”
Germany is doing its best to provide Ukraine with necessary military assistance, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius has said. He recalled, however, that Berlin and Kiev are not part of the same alliance.
Speaking in an interview with German broadcaster ZDF on Tuesday, Pistorius dismissed speculation that Germany is dosing its aid to Ukraine in a bid to avert its defeat by Moscow, but also to prevent Kiev from scoring major wins.
“We deliver what we can. The same applies to almost all other allies and partners,” he said, adding that “Germany is not an ally of Ukraine and therefore not in an alliance.”
Pistorius went on to recall that Germany is Ukraine’s second-largest supporter, behind only the US. However, he admitted that the industrial base in Germany and the West is struggling to keep up with the high demand for military supplies.
“We currently have the problem that in certain areas the arms industry cannot deliver as quickly as the demand is there,” he stated. The minister also remarked that while weapons manufacturers are doing their best to increase output, Russia is doing the same despite unprecedented Western economic sanctions.
He also reiterated his criticism of the EU’s ambitious goal, first announced this March, to deliver one million artillery shells to Ukraine by the spring of 2024, noting that it had raised unrealistic expectations and was unlikely to be fulfilled. As of November, the bloc had delivered only one-third of the planned amount.
Last month, several Western outlets reported that the German government had agreed to double the amount of military aid to Ukraine from €4 billion to €8 billion ($4.3 to $8.6 billion) in 2024. Russia has repeatedly warned the West against sending arms to Kiev, arguing that this will only prolong the conflict and make it a direct participant in the hostilities.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian officials have blamed delivery delays and lack of Western military assistance for the failure to achieve significant gains in a much-touted counteroffensive that kicked off in early summer. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has said that Ukraine “is losing” on the battlefield, estimating Kiev’s losses since the start of the push at more than 125,000 service members.
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