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Germany ‘could’ transfer 32-year-old frigate to Ukraine for war, Kiev says

The photo, taken on January 28, 2023, shows a destroyed school in Oleksandrivka village, Kherson region. (By AFP)

Ukraine says “with political will” Germany could hand over a submarine and a decommissioned frigate to Kiev.

Deputy Foreign Minister Andriy Melnyk said in a post on Twitter Sunday, “A month ago, Germany decommissioned frigate Lubeck. True, it was 32 years old. But still – with political will – it could be transferred to Ukraine to combat Russian submarines & war ships in the Black Sea.”

If not the entire ship, then “its weaponry like Sea Sparrow & Harpoon missiles,” he added.

Melnyk, who has a history of making controversial and undiplomatic statements, said a submarine, in the hands of the Ukrainian navy, could help expel the Russian navy from the Black Sea. “Germany produces one of the world’s best submarines, the HDW Class 212A. The Bundeswehr has six such U-boats. Why not send one to Ukraine?” he said.

Ukraine has already been seeking a considerable number of modern tanks to break Russia’s defensive lines.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian ambassador to France Vadym Omelchenko told French TV station and CNN affiliate BFM television on Friday Western countries will deliver more than 300 tanks to Ukraine. “As of today, numerous countries have officially confirmed their agreement to deliver 321 heavy tanks to Ukraine.”

Washington has recently pledged to provide 31 M1 Abrams tanks and Germany agreed to send 14 Leopard 2 A6s. Previously the United Kingdom pledged 14 Challenger 2 tanks.

The Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov recently said Moscow sought the promised delivery of Western tanks to Kiev as evidence of a direct and growing involvement by the United States and Europe in the Ukraine war.


Defense analysts say the tanks are a threat but not a game-changer. They say such tanks are not capable of turning the tide on a large-scale front.

‘Fast-track’ talks underway for missiles, planes 

Meanwhile, Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said Saturday Ukraine and its Western allies were engaged in “fast-track” talks on the possibility of equipping the country with long-range missiles and military aircraft. He said Ukraine’s Western supporters “understand how the war is developing” and the need to supply planes capable of providing cover for the armored fighting vehicles the United States and Germany pledged at the beginning of the month.

However, Podolyak said some of Ukraine’s Western partners maintain a “conservative” attitude to arms deliveries “due to fear of changes in the international architecture.” 

Ukraine has been at war with Russia since Moscow launched its “special military operation” on February 24, 2022 with the declared aim of “de-Nazifying” Ukraine. Ever since, the United States and its Western allies have imposed waves of unprecedented economic sanctions on Moscow and have given Ukraine tens of billions of dollars' worth of weaponry, including rocket systems, drones, armored vehicles, and communication systems. 

Russia has already warned that sending weapons to Ukraine would prolong the war.

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