Germany among nations 'doing the most' for Ukraine: chancellor

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz gestures as he gives a TV interview with German public broadcaster ARD on July 3, 2022. Photo by John MACDOUGALL / AFP

Washington- United States - - Germany is one of the countries doing the most to provide military aid to war-torn Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said while defending his country's delays in delivering weapons to Kyiv.

The long delays for German weapons, compared to the speedy deliveries of US arms, are due to the need to train Ukrainian soldiers in Germany, Scholz told CBS News on the talk show "Face the Nation" broadcast Sunday.

"We will always see that Germany is one of the countries that is doing the most, because what we are sending now is the most sophisticated technology you can use," Scholz said in the interview conducted Thursday on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Madrid.

Since Russia invaded its eastern European neighbor on February 24, Berlin has been accused of hesitating -- even being reluctant -- to send weapons to Ukraine, out of concern for its relations with Moscow.

Certain US weapons were delivered less than 48 hours after President Joe Biden signed off on the transfer, CBS journalist Margaret Brennan noted during her exchange with Scholz.

But the chancellor said comparing that timeframe to Germany's weeks or months of delay is unreasonable.

"You should understand that there is a difference of a country like the United States, which spends that much for defense, which is a very big investment, and you have a lot of weapons and stocks," said Scholz.

He explained that the rocket launchers sent by other countries were already in stock, but were not necessarily the most modern, whereas Germany will send "the most modern howitzer... on the world market."

He also expressed concern that Russian President Vladimir Putin had the means to continue his offensive in Ukraine.

"He is really doing this brutal war, and he prepared for it," said Scholz, noting he thinks Putin decided to invade a year or more before actually doing so.

"So he will be able to continue with the war really a long time."

© Agence France-Presse

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