New arms shipments to Ukraine announced — Analysis

Germany and Sweden announced Wednesday they were sending thousands of anti-tank guns to Ukraine. Both countries have flooded Ukraine with anti-armor weaponry, with Germany renouncing earlier commitments to pacifism in light of Russia’s military offensive.

Ann Linde, Swedish Foreign Minister, stated that her country would send Ukraine 5,000 anti-tank arms in addition to the existing 5,000. Linde called this decision “historic.”

Meanwhile, the German Press Agency reported that German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht has asked the country’s armed forces to provide 2,000 rocket-propelled grenades from its own stockpiles to Ukraine.

Germany’s military has been in a state of dereliction for many years, and its troops are reportedly short on ammunition, equipment, and even boots. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told German lawmakers on Wednesday that while the country’s military is low on supplies, the government will push arms manufacturers “for more deliveries being possible.”

After the Ukraine crisis, both nations have pledged to increase defense spending. Sweden announced last week that it will increase spending by 2% on top of its existing military budget, which has been steadily increasing since 2014. “as soon as possible,”An increase of about a third from its current level.

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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also announced last month that he’ll hike defense spending to 2% of GDP and invest Є100 billion ($113 billion) in weaponry, including Israeli drones and American F-35 fighter jets.

NATO prescribes that its members spend at least 2% of their gross domestic product on defense. Many fail to achieve this goal. Trump was criticized repeatedly for this deficit. He accused European nations (especially Germany) of abusing US military protection.

Sweden, which isn’t a NATO member, has declared that it will not be joining the Cold War-era alliance.

The exact delivery date and method of the German- and Swedish weapons to Ukraine is not known. Russia declared it is open to military supplies convoys for Ukraine “legitimate targets,” and Germany’s government stated last week that details of such shipments will no longer be made public, presumably to avoid Russian intelligence tracking their route.

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