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German defense minister announces aid package for Ukraine worth $540 million

by Martin Fornusek March 19, 2024 3:03 PM 2 min read
German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius talks to the media during the seventh gathering of the Ukraine Defence Contact Group at Ramstein air base on March 19, 2024, in Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany. (Thomas Niedermueller/Getty Images)
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German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius announced a new aid package for Ukraine worth 500 million euros (roughly $540 million) at a Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG) meeting in Ramstein, Germany, on March 19.

The meeting came at a precarious time for Ukraine and its allies, as Russia ramps up pressure along the front and $60 billion in aid from the U.S., a key military donor, remains stalled by disputes in Congress.

Germany's new package includes 10,000 artillery shells from the military stocks, as well as 100 armored vehicles for infantry and 100 logistical vehicles, Pistorius told reporters.

"We also continue to supply spare parts for systems that have already been delivered" and "large quantities" of medical supplies, he noted.

Germany will also finance the purchase of 180,000 artillery shells through the Czech-led initiative to supply ammunition to Ukraine, according to the minister. The delivery will take place gradually and begin this summer, he added.

The German defense minister said that during the Ramstein meeting, he spoke with his Ukrainian counterpart, Rustem Umerov, to discuss Kyiv's needs, namely munitions, air defense, and armored personnel carriers.

Initially a hesitant partner, Berlin has become Ukraine's second-largest military donor after the U.S. According to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, Germany has supplied Ukraine with 17.7 billion euros (around $19 billion) in military assistance as of January.

Germany and Ukraine signed a long-term bilateral agreement in February, under which Berlin pledged to provide Kyiv with military assistance worth 7 billion euros ($7.6 billion) in 2024.

Austin in Ramstein: ‘Russia has paid a staggering cost for Putin’s imperial dreams’
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin opened the 20th meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG) held in Ramstein, Germany, on March 19.
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