With Ukraine facing a potential onslaught by over 120,000 Russian troops, thousands of tanks, and devastating airstrikes by hundreds of missiles and warplanes, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht told news outlet Süddeutsche Zeitung on Jan. 26 that Germany will send Ukraine 5,000 helmets as military aid.
“It’s a very clear signal that we’re on your side,” Lambrecht said, following a meeting of the Bundestag’s defense committee.
The minister reiterated German support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“International law is not for negotiation; the integrity of individual countries and the alliance’s (NATO) sovereignty are not up for debate,” said Lambrecht.
Germany has declined to sell Ukraine defensive weapons on numerous occasions. Berlin is guided by its conviction to “not sell weapons to countries embroiled in armed conflicts,” and that lethal aid “would not advance de-escalation efforts,” according to the German government.
However, the German parliament has stated that it is considering supplying Ukraine with defensive military equipment, in light of the looming threat of a further Russian offensive against Kyiv.
Ukraine’s Armed Forces have already received three shipments of lethal aid from the United States, with a fourth one on its way. In particular, several hundred Javelin tank busters were delivered to Boryspil airport near Kyiv on Jan. 25.
The United Kingdom delivered light anti-tank weapons to Ukraine on Jan. 19, and together with the Netherlands plans to provide additional military aid.
In a joint statement by Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian defense ministers on Jan. 21, Estonia said it will send Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine, with Latvia and Lithuania supplying Kyiv with more Stingers.
Estonia says it’s ready to send Ukraine artillery, but it has to be first cleared with Germany, where the equipment is produced, and Finland, who manufactures the corresponding ammunition.
On Jan. 23, Washington sent Ukraine a shipment of SMAW-D disposable shoulder-launched grenade launchers.
Earlier, U.S. television news channel CNN reported that the White House is pessimistic about the prospects of averting a flare-up between Ukraine and Russia, and is considering expanding its military aid to Kyiv.