Germany has granted Estonia permission to send weapons, formerly owned by the country, to Ukraine, media outlets Die Zeit and Deutsche Welle reported on Saturday. Prime Minister Kaja Kallas has confirmed the news.
Estonia sought permission to send 122-millimeter howitzers, previously owned by Germany and Finland, to Ukraine more than a month ago. Under international law it needed permission from both countries to do so.
Berlin stalled on the decision with the government saying it was against selling weapons to conflict zones and it would prevent a diplomatic outcome.
But Die Zeit reported on Saturday the go-ahead had been given for Tallinn to donate weapons previously belonging to the GDR to Ukraine. It also permitted the Netherlands to send 400 grenade launchers to Ukraine.
Deutsche Welle, quoting government sources, said at least 9 howitzers would be given to Estonia.
Finland must now also grant Estonia permission but the country's foreign minister said earlier this week it would do so if Germany agreed.
Estonia has also sent Javelin missiles to Ukraine after being given the nod of approval from Washington.
At approximately 5 a.m. on Thursday, Russia launched an attack on Ukraine having massed tens of thousands of troops on the country's north, east and southern borders over the last several months. Russian troops have been attacking the capital Kyiv since Friday.
Prime minister confirms
Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) confirmed the move on Saturday evening.
Writing on social media she said: "Germany has made an important decision today in defense of Ukraine and democracy. Also allowed Estonia to send howitzers to Ukraine."
Estonia's Ministry of Defense also welcomed the news.
Germany sending weapons to Ukraine
Until now Berlin had sent 5,000 military helmets and a field hospital to help Ukraine fend off the Russian invasion, an offer that has been mocked by some of Germany's frustrated partners, Deutsche Welle reported.
However, on Saturday, the government announced it would also send 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 "Stinger" class surface-to-air missiles to Ukraine. Chancellor Olaf Scholz confirmed the move on social media.
The Russian invasion marks a turning point. It is our duty to support Ukraine to the best of our ability in defending against Putin's invading army. That is why we are delivering 1000 anti-tank weapons and 500 #Stinger missiles to our friends in #Ukraine.— Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz (@Bundeskanzler) February 26, 2022
Government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said the weapons would be delivered as soon as possible to support the Ukrainian military.
Scholz said it was Germany's "duty to support Ukraine to the best of its ability in defending itself against the invading army of Vladimir Putin."
Editor's note: This article was updated to add comments from Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and the Ministry of Defense.
Editor: Helen Wright