Loss of approval for Mardier: Nebel accuses chancellor of delaying arms deliveries

Mardier approval is missing
Nebel accuses chancellor of delaying arms deliveries

In two to three weeks, the arms company Rheinmetall can deliver the first Marder armored personnel carriers to Ukraine – only the approval of the Chancellery is missing. The former minister and adviser to Rheinmetall Nebel is suspicious of procrastination and says that waiting longer will cost more lives in Ukraine.

Former Federal Minister of Development and current adviser to the Rheinmetall Group, Dirk Nebel, accuses the Federal Chancellery of delaying the decision on the delivery of up to 100 Marder infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine. “We hope that this matter will finally be decided,” Niebel said in an interview with Tagesspiegel before the Federal Security Council chaired by Chancellor Olaf Schultz.

Arms company Rheinmetall wants to upgrade the tanks and deliver them to Ukraine. Niebel assumes a package worth about 100 million euros. The former Development Aid Minister, who has advised the German Arms Group on all issues related to international affairs, said the development of strategies and guidelines for global intergovernmental relations.

“What more time do you want to waste? It costs more lives, you have to give the Ukrainians the support they need in their struggle to survive,” said Nebel. “Within three weeks at most, and most likely within two weeks, the first vehicles can be delivered, with sufficient supplies of ammunition, so that combat capability is provided.” However, personnel training can start only if there is also an export permit. “That’s why this is a matter of the time factor.”

Ukraine has doubts about tanks “Cheetah”

So far, the federal government has only allowed Krauss-Wegmann-Maffei to export up to 50 Gepard anti-aircraft tanks, but Switzerland forbids the release of ammunition produced there and the system is technically too complicated, which is why even Ukraine is skeptical about this delivery. “So a combat vehicle that can’t fight is of little use in war,” Nebel said, looking at the leopard’s question mark. “The Marder as a tactical system is much less complex than the Cheetah,” Nebel said. “It’s an infantry fighting vehicle, so it’s a safe way to transport people. Anyone who drives a tank in the Ukrainian army can drive this vehicle at any time.”

Nebel advocated using it as a lobby for the delivery of these heavy weapons. “We saw what happened in Srebrenica. We saw what happened in Rwanda and we don’t want to see another genocide in Ukraine. That’s why it only makes sense for collective action to be taken here. In Srebrenica and in Rwanda, the international community failed. That’s at least a big number.” It shouldn’t happen to us a third time.”

Niebel sees a shortage of ammunition in the German army

Regarding the Bundeswehr, Niebel also believes that at least €20 billion of the planned €100 billion Bundeswehr special fund should be spent on ammunition. This is necessary, Niebel said, “to ensure the resilience of the German army in times of war”. Problems with the purchase of ammunition for the Cheetah tanks, which will be left to Ukraine, appear that “you always have to think about the storage of ammunition.”

The Bundestag may want to take a decision on the creation of the Special Fund and a similar amendment to the Basic Law next Friday. In addition, Nebel cautioned against balancing the Special Fund against annual defense spending. In his landmark speech in the Bundestag on February 27, Chancellor Olaf Scholz promised to spend at least 2% of gross national income annually on defense, plus €100 billion in special funds. “If you decide that you should use 100 billion special programs for equipment, you will have more aircraft, armored vehicles, weapons systems and ammunition. But you will also need more personnel and equipment and more repairs, that is, spare parts,” the FDP politician. “That costs money in a normal house, otherwise it’s just a flash in the pan.”

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