Admin l Wednesday, December 28, 2022
BERLIN – The German government has approved arms exports worth at least €8.35 billion ($8.9 billion) this year, the second-highest annual figure in the country’s history.
More than a quarter of the weapons and military equipment delivered from January 1 to December 22 went to help Ukraine as it fends off the invasion by Russia.
The data comes from the Economy Ministry at the request of Sevim Dağdelen, a lawmaker with the far-left Linke Party. The response was seen by dpa.
The three-party governing coalition that gained power in 2021 had promised to reduce arms exports. But the war in Ukraine upended the pledge, as Kiev’s Western allies sent military support after Russia attacked in February.
In a break with principles that had been in place for decades, centre-left Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced an end to a ban on arms deliveries to war zones.
Since then, deliveries worth €2.24 billion have been approved for Ukraine, including anti-aircraft tanks, self-propelled howitzers, multiple rocket launchers and the IRIS-T air defence system.
But even without Ukraine, exports worth more than €6 billion received government approval.
By comparison, in the 16 years of Angela Merkel’s centre-right government, the €6-billion mark was exceeded only five times.
In the ranking of the biggest recipient countries, Ukraine is followed by four NATO members: the Netherlands, the United States, Britain and Hungary. The overall figures for 2022 are to be officially announced in January.