France and Germany on Tuesday announced new arms deliveries for Ukraine, pledging to send more of the missiles that have been used to pound Russian supply depots, as well as more armored vehicles and ammunition.
“In view of the situation and the Ukrainian counter-offensive, I have decided to increase deliveries of weapons and equipment,” French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters ahead of the two-day NATO military alliance summit in Vilnius, which kicked off on Tuesday.
“We have decided to deliver new long-range strike missiles to Ukraine,” Macron added, marking a turning point as the French president had been hesitant to send such long-distance missiles to Ukraine. These will likely be French-British SCALP missiles, also known as Storm Shadow, which London has already delivered to Kyiv.
The missiles have a 250-kilometer range, allowing Ukraine to pummel Russia’s logistics and supplies with rockets that Russian air defenses have had a hard time knocking down.
Moscow called the French decision a mistake.
“This is, from our point of view, an erroneous decision fraught with consequences for the Ukrainian side,” said Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, according to the TASS news agency. He added that the deliveries “can only aggravate the fate of the Kiev regime.”
Germany also announced a new military aid package for Ukraine worth about €686 million, which will “serve Ukraine’s priorities: air defense, tanks, artillery,” German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius told reporters upon arrival at the NATO summit.
The German package will include 40 Marder infantry fighting vehicles, 25 Leopard 1 A5 main battle tanks, five Bergepanzer 2 tank recovery vehicles, as well as two launch units for the Patriot air defense system. Berlin will also deliver more ammunition, including 20,000 rounds of artillery shells, and anti-drone and anti-mine systems.
Source : Politico