Ukrainian parliament speaker meets with Scholz and calls for swift delivery of heavy weapons
The Speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Ruslan Stefanchuk, met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin on Friday and called on him to increase military support for Kyiv.
During the meeting, Stefanchuk called on Scholz to provide Ukraine with modern German weapons to deter russian aggression.
"Of course, what we need most is modern weapons. We can also fight and hold out with old weapons from old stocks, but the newer weapons are more efficient. So we're expecting both Marder [armored personnel carriers] and Leopards [tanks]," said Stefanchuk.
He also welcomed the German Chancellor's statements on the supply of heavy weapons to Ukraine but stressed that Germany should accelerate them.
"Every day, 100 people die, and 500 are injured in Ukraine. So it would be good if the German government reduced the time between the decision-making and the actual supply of weapons as much as possible," Stefanchuk said.
During his visit to Berlin, the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada will also meet with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has been accused of dragging its feet on weapons supplies to Ukraine. Apparent delivery delays prompted Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba to direct more sharp criticism at Germany as recently as Monday. "There are countries we are waiting for to deliver and countries we are tired of waiting for," Kuleba said in an interview with Italy's la Repubblica newspaper. "Germany belongs to the second group."
Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced that Germany will supply Ukraine with IRIS-T guided missiles as he pushed back against persistent criticism.