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Germany, Netherlands sending anti-tank weapons to Ukraine

Panzerfaust 3
Photo: Dutch defense ministry

Breaking from its long-running practice of refusing to supply weapons to Ukraine, the German government has now announced its decision to send 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 Stinger missiles to Ukraine.

This was announced by German chancellor Olaf Scholz on Saturday, who said the Russian attack “marked a turning point,” adding it was Germany’s duty to do its best to help Ukraine defend against the invading army of Russian president Vladimir Putin.

The weapons would be supplied from German defense forces’ stocks, Scholz added.

What is more, the German government gave its permission to the Netherlands and Estonia to export military equipment to Ukraine. The two countries had previously been barred from exporting the weapons due to an end-use clause, which means official Berlin must approve any exports of weapons of German origin.

Following the approval on Saturday, The Dutch defense ministry immediately said it was sending 50 Panzerfaust-3 anti-tank weapons and 400 missiles to Ukraine. This will be the Netherland’s third weapons contribution to Ukraine.

The Panzerfaust is a portable recoilless anti-tank weapon. It allows different types of ammunition to be fired, up to a distance of 600 meters. It is suitable against tanks, armored vehicles, reinforced emplacements and (light) bunkers. Helicopters that are stationary can also be hit with it.

According to German reports, Estonia has been cleared to deliver artillery pieces from old East German equipment to Ukraine.

The Dutch defense ministry further said it was assessing the possibility of deploying Patriot air-defense systems and troops to the new NATO battlegroup in Slovakia.

On the same day, US president Joe Biden authorized an additional $350 million of military assistance from Department of Defense inventories, including anti-armor, small arms and various munitions, body armor, and related equipment in support of Ukraine’s defense efforts.

The latest announced transfer brings the total security assistance the US approved for Ukraine to $1 billion over the past year, and it is the third time Biden expedited emergency security assistance for Ukraine’s defense in recent months using the Presidential Drawdown Authority.