Ukraine is calling on Germany to supply it with more modern weaponry, just days after the German government approved the direct delivery of anti-aircraft tanks to the Ukrainian military for the first time.
The Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper that the Gepard anti-aircraft tanks are already 40 years old. To defeat Russia, "we need the most modern German weapons," he said.
What was needed, he said, was newer Leopard and Marder tanks as well as self-propelled howitzers "and much more."
Chancellor Olaf Scholz, he said, had been slow in his response to the Ukraine war, and compared him to his predecessor as chancellor.
"Olaf Scholz seems to act like Angela Merkel: first wait, observe and decide sometime later - or not. What is missing is imagination and courage."
Melnyk said Kiev also wanted more funding from Germany to help Kiev rearm.
He described concerns that Germany would become party to the conflict as nonsensical, as "for Putin, Germany has long been party to the conflict. Those who want to prevent an expansion of his war must now help us put Putin in his place."
"The World War III has already begun. Putin's attack on Ukraine affects everyone," Melnyk added.