German anti-aircraft missiles offered to Ukraine not usable: Report

By Anadolu Agency

The German government had to backtrack on Friday on the planned delivery of 2,700 East German-era Strela anti-aircraft missiles to the Ukrainian army, local media reported.

According to a report published by the weekly Der SPIEGEL news magazine, a large proportion of the Strela missiles in the German army depots are not only completely outdated, they are also no longer usable.

A maximum of 2,000 of the rockets in the troops’ warehouses can still be used, according to the report.

The German army had already taken the East German-era system out of the troops’ operations in 2014 “for security reasons”, according to a confidential note on the weapon system.

Since then, the wooden boxes with the weapons that are now to be delivered to Ukraine have become so moldy that soldiers are only allowed to enter the storage facilities with protective clothing.

German Economic Minister Robert Habeck announced on Thursday morning that Germany wanted to deliver a total of 2,700 Strela missiles to Ukraine in addition to 1,000 rocket-propelled grenades and 500 Stinger missiles.

The ministry has already approved the delivery of anti-aircraft missiles. The only thing missing is a positive vote by the Federal Security Council, which is a must to export arms.

Germany had switched course in the Ukraine crisis last week by deciding to equip the Ukrainian military with heavy weapons in its war with Russia.

“The Russian attack on Ukraine marks a turning point. It threatens our entire post-war order,” said Chancellor Olaf Scholz in a speech to the German parliament.

“In this situation, it is our duty to do our best to support Ukraine in its defense against (Russian President) Vladimir Putin’s invading army. Germany stands closely on Ukraine’s side,” he added.