German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Sunday Berlin is unable to provide Kiev with weapons at a similar pace to the United States because its resources are more limited.
Scholz was responding to allegations that his country has been “overpromising and underdelivering” when it comes to Ukraine.
In an interview with CBS News, the German chancellor stressed that amid Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine his country made “a very, very hard decision” to change its long-term political strategy of never providing a country in conflict with weapons.
“Germany sent all the weapons we had in our stocks in our military infrastructure. And we decided also to deliver new weapons from our industry, which takes a longer time because they have to be produced,” he explained.
He added that certain weapons systems require the Ukrainian soldiers to be trained, which also slows down the delivery process.
The CBS interviewer then pointed out that the US sometimes provides weaponry within 48 hours “of the president signing and carrying out training,” whereas for Germany it takes much longer.
“I think you should understand that there is a difference if a country like the United States spends that much for defense, which is a very big (long pause) investment, and you have a lot of weapons at your stocks,” Scholz responded.
While Germany is sending weapons “with the means and ways” it has, the chancellor stressed, it is still “one of the countries that is doing the most” because it is sending to Kiev “the most sophisticated technology you can use.” He emphasized that Berlin was “using all the means” it has to help Ukraine and will continue to do so to avoid a peace on Russia’s terms – something that, he believes, neither Ukraine nor the West will accept.