Germany blocks Ukraine’s arms purchase from NATO as unofficial arms embargo on Ukraine continues

Ukraine’s Minister of Defense Oleksiy Reznikov. Source: Hlavkom 

Hybrid War

Editor’s Note

In November, Berlin vetoed Ukraine’s purchase of anti-drone rifles and anti-sniper systems through a NATO procurement agency. Germany later softened its position only regarding the first item, declaring anti-drone rifles non-lethal weapons. This appears to be a continuation of an unofficial western European arms embargo on Ukraine that has been in place since 2008.

The news about Germany’s move was reported by Ukraine’s Minister of Defense Oleksiy Reznikov in his commentary for Financial Times. On 6 December 2021, Reznikov told CNN that “We don’t need American or Canadian soldiers here in Ukraine. We will fight ourselves. But we need modernization of weaponry, we need electronic warfare, etc.”

In his commentary, Minister Reznikov also said that despite Berlin’s veto on Ukraine’s purchases through a NATO procurement agency, Ukraine will buy necessary weaponry directly from its allies, namely the US, UK, Lithuania and France.

Germany’s recent ban is part of the wider policy of abstention from lethal arms purchases by Ukraine which also halts possible additional arms imports from NATO.

As Mykhailo Samus, Director of the New Geopolitics Research Network said in our previous interview while analyzing arms supplies to Russia and Ukraine, western European countries had unofficially banned any military supplies to Ukraine long before the Russo-Ukrainian war and this “embargo” lasts to the present day:

You’ve got interesting things out there: you supply weapons, military equipment and technology to the aggressor country, while Ukraine has been banned from military supplies since 2008 and from any contacts of a military-technical nature. This was then an implicit embargo on Ukraine, as Ukraine supplied arms to Georgia during the Georgian-Russian war. Nothing has changed since then: Europe — I mean Western Europe — does not supply us (Ukraine, – Ed.) with anything of this kind.

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The position of the new German government led by Chancellor Olaf Scholz is still unknown. The German Ministry of Economy, which is responsible for approving arms exports or vetoing, declined to comment, as did the German Chancellery.

They are still building the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline and at the same time blocking our defense weapons. This is very unfair,” Reznikov commented about the German decision.

He also said he was “optimistic” about receiving missiles and other defense weapons from the United States and other Western partners after talks with colleagues. The minister also said that the strategy “not to provoke Russia” does not work and will not work, given the example of Georgia.

What Putin understands is a strong and decisive demonstration of Ukraine’s readiness to protect itself, according to Reznikov.

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