Pistorius meets Austin
Germany and USA “stand shoulder to shoulder”
01/19/2023 12:31 p.m
In his first official act, Defense Minister Boris Pistorius meets his US colleague Lloyd Austin. In a subsequent press conference, both emphasized the unity of the USA and Germany. Neither said a word about main battle tanks.
The new Federal Defense Minister Boris Pistorius has announced close coordination with the USA on the question of further arms deliveries to Ukraine. In view of the Russian war of aggression, both NATO countries stand “as so often in history (…) shoulder to shoulder in action,” said Pistorius during the visit of US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in Berlin. This can be seen in the weapon systems promised to Ukraine so far, such as armored personnel carriers or Patriot air defense systems.
Pistorius did not comment on the delivery of “Leopard” battle tanks, which many sides are currently demanding. Chancellor Olaf Scholz apparently makes this dependent on the USA also supplying battle tanks.
“German systems are proving their worth in Ukraine,” said Pistorius, referring to weapons that have already been delivered. He mentioned self-propelled howitzers, the “Gepard” anti-aircraft tank and the IRIS-T SLM anti-aircraft system. “In the future too” Germany will “together with our partners support Ukraine in the fight for freedom and territorial independence and sovereignty”.
Austin is also silent on main battle tanks
Austin thanked Germany for the previous support for Ukraine’s self-defense. The German help for the defenders of Ukraine is “invaluable”, he said.
Austin pointed out that the defense ministers of the NATO countries will meet with other supporters of Ukraine in Ramstein, Rhineland-Palatinate, on Friday. “We will renew our collective commitment to support self-defense over the long term,” the US Secretary said. He also did not comment on the question of battle tanks.