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Germany will donate Marder infantry fighting vehicles and a Patriot missile system to Ukraine

origin 1Soldiers follow a Marder infantry fighting vehicle during a demonstration event held for the media by the German Bundeswehr in Bergen near Hanover, September 2011 ©AP Photo/Michael Sohn

Germany will supply Ukraine with Marder infantry fighting vehicles and a battery of Patriot missiles, the government announced on Thursday in a joint German-US statement.

The news of the collaboration between Berlin and Washington to supply Kiev with additional armored vehicles came after a conversation between Chancellor Olaf Scholz and US President Joe Biden.

The United States has said it will supply Ukraine with Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, while Germany will also supply a Patriot air defense battery.

Ukraine has scored some battlefield successes since Russian forces invaded last February, but has asked its allies for heavier weapons to defend itself.

Germany’s decision to supply Marder armored personnel carriers comes after France said it would soon hold talks with Ukraine to arrange delivery of its AMX-10 RC light tanks.

The French presidency said it would be the first time this type of Western-made tank destroyer would be delivered to the Ukrainian military.

The German government has not specified how many Marder APCs will be supplied or when. It said Germany would train Ukrainian forces on them.

The statement noted that the United States last month announced it would supply a Patriot air defense missile battery to Ukraine and said that “Germany will join the United States in supplying an additional defense battery Patriot Air Force to Ukraine”. He didn’t specify a time frame.

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Germany has already provided significant military aid to Ukraine, including Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft guns and the first of four IRIS-T surface-to-air missile systems.

However, Scholz has been under pressure at home to offer more, including Marder vehicles.

The German leader has also received requests from Ukraine and some domestic lawmakers to deliver Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, but has so far said he would not go it alone with such a move and that no other country has supplied similar Western equipment.

Thursday’s statement made no mention of those tanks.