Germany on Tuesday announced a $1.1 billion weapons package for Ukraine that Berlin said was to help Kyiv get through the winter.
The package includes a US-made Patriot air defense system, two German-made IRIS-T air defense systems, 10 more German Leopard tanks, and other types of equipment.
“With this new ‘winter package,’ we are further enhancing the readiness of the Ukrainian armed forces in the coming months,” said German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius.
The provision of such a large arms package demonstrates that NATO is preparing to support the conflict for another year. In Washington, the White House and hawks in Congress are considering authorizing a giant Ukraine aid package to get through the 2024 election.
After initially being reluctant to go all in on the proxy war, Germany has become one of Ukraine’s top NATO backers, second only to the US.
According to the German-based Kiel Institute, Berlin has provided Ukraine with about $18 billion in military aid, compared with about $44.5 billion provided by the US.
In the early days of the conflict, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he was opposed to providing Ukraine with tanks and warplanes because he was trying to avoid World War III and nuclear war.
Ukraine has since been armed with dozens of German-made Leopard tanks, and Berlin approved the transfer of Soviet-era MiG-29s from Poland to Ukraine that initially came from Germany’s military.