BERLIN (Reuters) -Germany will supply two more multiple rocket launchers to Ukraine, Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht said on Thursday.
“We have decided to deliver two more MARS II multiple rocket launchers including 200 rockets to Ukraine,” she told a Bundeswehr conference.
The training of Ukrainian operators was expected to start in September, she said.
“On top of this, we will send 50 Dingo armoured personnel carriers to Ukraine,” Lambrecht announced, referring to an armoured vehicle that the German military extensively used during NATO’s military operation in Afghanistan.
She also said a deal on a circle swap of infantry fighting vehicles with Greece and Ukraine was almost completed, meaning Germany would soon hand over 40 Marder IFVs to Greece while Greece, in turn, would pass on 40 of its Soviet-built BMP-1 IFVs to Ukraine.
Later on Thursday, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said Europe should support Ukraine with battle tanks as Ukrainians were proving that they can defend themselves if they have the right military means.
“If they say they need battle tanks, then we should take it seriously and should deliver it to them,” von der Leyen, who was in Kyiv on Thursday, was quoted as saying by Bild newspaper.
There is a growing debate over whether Berlin should support Ukraine with main battle tanks, a demand that Germany has rejected so far, saying it would not take such action unilaterally.
(Reporting by Sabine Siebold and Riham Alkousaa; editing by Rachel More and Grant McCool)