Germany poised to send Ukraine ‘one of most advanced short-range missiles’ to smash Putin

German daily Bild had reported earlier that the German cabinet’s security council was discussing the matter, and that IRIS-T SLM systems, made by privately held German weapons maker Diehl Defence, could be deployed in Ukraine from November.

Eastern European TV NEXTA described the IRIS-T as “one of the most advanced short-range missiles”.

Ukraine’s pleas for heavy weapons have intensified since Moscow earlier this month turned its fiercest firepower on the country’s east and south, after failing to take the capital Kyiv.

Germany last week said it would deliver seven self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine, in a further reversal of a longtime policy not to send heavy weapons to war zones due to the country’s Nazi past.

According to Bild, Ukraine is interested in receiving 10 IRIS-T SLM systems, which could be manufactured over the next three to four years. The paper said that the system can launch missiles over a distance of 40 kilometres (25 miles) to take down fighter jets, helicopters or missiles.

Training for Ukrainian soldiers could start as soon as the German government has approved the plan, Bild said.

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special military operation” to disarm Ukraine and protect it from fascists.

Ukraine and the West say the fascist allegation is baseless and that the war is an unprovoked act of aggression.

One of the aims of Russia’s action in Ukraine was to prevent the former Soviet republic ever joining NATO.

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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who spoke to Putin by phone on Friday, said he detected no sign of any change in the Russian leader’s thinking on the conflict.

In an interview for the t-online news website published on Saturday, Scholz said Western sanctions on Russia would remain in place until it reached an agreement with Ukraine, adding: “Our aim is for this invasion to fail.”

Meeting in Germany, foreign ministers from the G7 group of rich nations backed giving Ukraine more aid and arms.

In their statement, the G7 ministers – from the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Canada – also pledged to “expedite our efforts to reduce and end reliance on Russian energy supplies”.

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the West’s sanctions amounted to a “total hybrid war” against Moscow but Russia would withstand sanctions by forging deeper partnerships with China, India and others.

Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky said complex negotiations were underway on the next phase of the evacuation mission from the Azovtal steelworks in Mariupol, with international intermediaries involved in the talks.

Erdogan’s spokesman said Turkey had two weeks ago proposed carrying out a maritime evacuation of wounded fighters from the plant.

The proposal remains “on the table” although Moscow has not agreed to it, he said.