Germany makes historic shift on weapons policy

Agrees to ship weapons to Ukraine to aid in fight against Russian invasion


World News

February 26, 2022 - 3:06 PM

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. (Andreas Gora/Pool/Getty Images/TNS)

BERLIN — Germany upended years of policy and agreed to supply Kyiv with weapons and consider ways to shut out Russia from the SWIFT financial messaging system, signaling the depth of outrage in Berlin at Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz, facing his first international crisis as Germany’s leader, signed off on providing Ukraine with 500 Stinger surface-to-air missiles and 1,000 anti-tank weapons from German stockpiles. His decision sets aside traditional German restraint on arms exports to war zones, a policy rooted in the country’s legacy of World War II aggression.

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine marks a turning point,” Scholz said in a statement announcing the decision. “It threatens our entire postwar order. In this situation, it is our duty to do our best to help Ukraine defend itself against Vladimir Putin’s invading army.”

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