(The Hill) — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced Saturday that his country would send anti-tank weapons and stinger missiles to Ukraine, marking a major shift in policy for the richest country in the European Union.
The German leader said that the Russian invasion of the former Soviet state marked a “turning point.”
“The Russian invasion marks a turning point. It is our duty to support Ukraine to the best of our ability in defending against Putin’s invading army. That is why we are delivering 1000 anti-tank weapons and 500 #Stinger missiles to our friends in #Ukraine,” Scholz tweeted.
The country will also lift its ban on nations exporting German-made weapons, allowing 400 rocket-propelled grenade launchers to be sent to Ukraine from the Netherlands, according to Axios.
Germany’s change of heart comes after months of criticism from the international community over its response to the Russia-Ukraine situation. Previously, Germany refused to allow its weapons to be transferred by NATO allies to Ukraine, according to the outlet.
Germany sent 5,000 helmets and a field hospital to Ukraine before the invasion but has refrained from any lethal aid.
Nearby countries, including Poland, Estonia, Latvia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, have begun to send ammunition, fuel and medical supplies into Ukraine as it fights back against Russian forces.
Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, is currently under fire from Russia, which has sent missiles and tanks to win over the city.