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BERLIN — In a significant shift, the German government confirmed Saturday that it has approved the shipment of anti-tank weapons to Ukraine and supports some restrictions of the SWIFT global banking system for Russia.
The German economy and climate ministry said in a Saturday evening statement that Germany is allowing the Netherlands to ship 400 German-made anti-tank weapons to Ukraine.
READ MORE: What to know as Russian forces target Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv
“The Russian invasion of Ukraine marks a turning point. It threatens our entire post-war order,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said. “In this situation, it is our duty to do our best to help Ukraine defend itself against Vladimir Putin’s invading army.”
Germany had long stuck to a policy of not exporting deadly weapons to conflict zones, including Ukraine. As recently as Friday, government officials said they would abide by that policy.
The country has faced criticism from Ukrainian officials and other allies that it has not acted decisively enough to help Ukraine fend off the Russian invasion. Previously, Germany contributed 5,000 helmets to Ukraine’s defense.
READ MORE: ‘It is very difficult to reach anyone.’ Ukrainians in the U.S. despair watching Russian invasion from afar
In addition, Germany said it will send 14 armored vehicles and up to 10,000 tons of fuel to Ukraine.
“After Russia’s shameless attack, Ukraine must be able to defend itself,” Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Economy Minister Robert Habeck said. “The federal government is therefore supporting Ukraine in providing urgently needed material.”
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