Speed Reads

better late than never

Germany agrees to send weapons to Ukraine

After consistently refusing to provide lethal aid to Ukraine, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced Saturday his country will send 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 Stinger surface-to-air missiles to Ukraine, Axios reports.

According to Politico Europe, Scholz said the Russian invasion "marks a turning point" that "threatens our entire post-war order" and that "it is our duty to do our utmost to support Ukraine in defending itself." 

Germany also changed its position on sanctions. After initially opposing any move to bar Russia from the international financial intermediary SWIFT, Germany said it supported finding a "targeted and functional" way to boot Russia that would "limit collateral damage," Bloomberg reported.

Germany drew criticism in January for promising to send 5,000 military helmets to Ukraine in lieu of weapons. Around the same time, the head of Germany's navy was forced to resign after saying NATO should give Russian President Vladimir Putin "the respect he demands, and probably deserves."

Germany is a major importer of Russian natural gas and sits at the other end of Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Many observers say this gives Russia too much leverage over Germany, especially after the NATO member increased its dependence on Russian energy in January by decommissioning three of its six remaining nuclear plants.

Just days before Russian forces invaded Ukraine, Scholz announced that the pipeline's certification process would be halted.