The German government is considering acquiring an Israeli missile defense system, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the president of the parliament’s Defense Committee revealed this Sunday.
“Given the threat and the various weapons systems available to Russia, of course we should be interested, of course,” Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann told the Welt newspaper.
According to Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, “there are different options, especially since this shield was built for a very specific missile, fired at very high altitude, that arrives from space and that a conventional defense system cannot help”.
“Therefore, it is important that we deal with this as quickly as possible”, added the official, from the Liberal Party, which is part of the governing coalition.
For the president of the Defense Committee, who will travel to Israel, this process must be “very fast, but it must also be discussed very seriously”.
The decision has not yet been taken, but Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democratic Party, the main party in the ruling coalition, is in favour, the German newspaper Bild reported today, quoted by AFP.
“We need to better protect ourselves against the Russian threat. For that, we quickly need a German-scale anti-missile shield”, the parliament’s rapporteur for the defense budget, Andreas Schwarz, told the newspaper.
According to Andreas Schwarz, “the Israeli Arrow 3 system is a good solution”, given that it is intended to intercept long-range missiles.
The newspaper adds that the system has a cost of around two billion euros and could be operational as early as 2025, from three locations in Germany.
The missile defense shield should even be enough to cover Poland, Romania and the Baltic countries as well.
“We would thus play a fundamental role for the security of Europe”, added Andreas Schwarz.
After years of underinvestment in defense, Germany made a historic turnaround at the end of February following the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian army.
On February 27, a few days after the start of the Russian offensive, Olaf Scholz announced an exceptional financial envelope of 100 billion euros to modernize the army and the objective of exceeding 2% of military expenditure in the Gross Domestic Product.
On February 24, Russia launched a military offensive in Ukraine that caused at least 1,081 deaths among the civilian population, including 93 children, and 1,707 injuries, including 120 minors, and caused the flight of another 10 million people. Of these, 3.7 million went to neighboring countries, according to the latest United Nations figures, which warn that the real number of civilian casualties is likely to be much higher.
According to the United Nations, around 13 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Ukraine.
The Russian invasion was condemned by the international community in general, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and reinforcing economic and political sanctions on Moscow.
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