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German foreign minister acknowledges some of Berlin's weapons are outdated, inoperational

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk September 26, 2023 2:03 PM 2 min read
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock gives a press conference alongside the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Estonia at the Federal Foreign Office, Berlin, on Aug. 22, 2023. (Photo credit: Kay Nietfeld/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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When asked if she's worried about a recent delivery of allegedly faulty Leopard 1 tanks to Ukraine, Germany's Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock admitted some German weapons are outdated and "not really functioning."

In an interview with CNN, Baerbock said that the need to ensure German weaponry is fully operational is one of the reasons why Berlin has so far refused to provide Kyiv with Taurus long-range missiles.

"We have to be clear on every detail, how does it work, who can actually operate them (the missiles)," Baerbock told CNN's Christiane Amanpour. "Yes, it takes some time. I totally understand there is not enough time in Ukraine, but when we deliver it, it has to work."

Taurus missiles have a longer range than the French SCALP and British Storm Shadow weapons, used by the Ukrainian military since May. The German cruise missiles can reach up to 500 kilometers, meaning Ukraine could use them to strike deep into Russian-occupied territories, including Crimea.

According to Baerbock, the poor condition of some German weapons is explained by the fact Europe has not been confronted "with a brutal war lately."

On Sept. 19, the German news outlet Spiegel reported that Ukraine had refused to accept a recent batch of 10 Leopard 1A5 tanks sent by Germany, saying they needed repairs that the Ukrainian military could not carry out. Some of the first 10 Leopards provided by Germany in July also reportedly suffered similar issues.

Denmark's Defense Ministry has discovered that a part of its Leopard tanks sent to Ukraine was also faulty, the Danish government-owned TV2 channel reported on Sept. 22.

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