A subsidiary of the German defense holding Rheinmetall has asked the German government for permission to supply 100 Marder infantry fighting vehicles (IVF) to Ukraine, reports the newspaper Welt am Sonntag.
According to the newspaper, the request was received by the Ministry of Economy of Germany and was immediately transferred to the Federal Security Council, which, in addition to the head of the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, includes the head of the Federal Chancellor's Office, as well as the ministers of foreign affairs, the interior, defense, finance, economics, economic cooperation and justice. This means, the newspaper writes, that in the coming days this council will have to decide whether Berlin is ready for a direct supply of heavy weapons to Ukraine. According to Welt am Sonntag, this is the first such application since the beginning of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The newspaper points out that Rheinmetall Landsysteme GmbH is ready to sell these IFVs to Ukraine "as soon as possible." Moreover, the first shipment can be delivered to Kyiv "within a few weeks."
Earlier, Vice-Inspector General of the Bundeswehr Markus Laubenthal rejected the possibility of supplying heavy weapons to Ukraine. According to him, Germany itself needs Marder IFVs to fulfill various obligations as part of NATO. If they are sent to Kyiv, "the Bundeswehr will have nothing left for the NATO Rapid Response Force if support is needed," Markus Laubental said on the air ZDF news agency.