June 26, 2022

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A source said that Rheinmetall is seeking to export heavy weapons to Ukraine

A source said that Rheinmetall is seeking to export heavy weapons to Ukraine

BERLIN (Reuters) – German defense company Rheinmetall (RHMG.DE) A defense source told Reuters today, Monday, that it has requested approval to export 100 old Marder infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine, in what will be the first shipment of heavy weapons from Germany to Ukraine.

The source said that the company is seeking to obtain an export license for vehicles in their current condition, with the aim of recovering them during the coming months before shipping them to Ukraine, confirming what was reported in Welt am Sonntag newspaper.

Rheinmetall’s move is set to force Chancellor Olaf Schultz to take a clear stance on whether heavy weapons can be sent directly from Germany to Ukraine because the Marder deal requires approval from the National Security Council, which Schulz chairs.

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A spokesperson for Rheinmetall declined to comment.

Schulz is facing growing criticism at home and abroad for his reluctance to deliver heavy weapons such as tanks and howitzers to help Ukraine fend off Russian attacks. Read more

On Sunday, the US secretaries of state and defense pledged, in their first visit to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion two months ago, additional military aid to Kyiv, including advanced weapons. Read more

Ukrainians’ pleas for heavy weapons have intensified since Moscow shifted its offensive to the eastern Donbass region, an area seen as more suitable for tank battles than the areas around Kiev, where most of the battles have taken place thus far.

Moscow describes its actions in Ukraine, now entering its third month, as a “special military operation.”

(Covering by Sabine Siebold), plus Annelie Balmain (Editing) by Miranda Murray and David Goodman

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