BERLIN (dpa-AFX) - Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck wants to promote offshoots of German and European defense companies in Ukraine. There is already a trend that needs to be strengthened, the Green politician said on Thursday in Berlin at a German-Ukrainian event on the defense industry. Habeck said that politicians must now find out what is needed for this, for example in the form of guarantees or financial support.

According to information from Kiev, it was only on Tuesday that the German armaments company Rheinmetall and Ukraine opened their first joint tank repair facility in Ukraine. A short time later, the Düsseldorf-based company announced that its Lynx infantry fighting vehicle would also be manufactured in the country attacked by Russia.

Habeck reported on a meeting with the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Selenskyj. He had asked him why the delivery of military goods from Germany was proceeding so slowly. Habeck said that there was indeed no excuse for this. Not enough had been done and more needed to be done.

According to the Ukrainian Minister for Strategic Industries, Olexandr Kamyshin, three German defense companies are already present in Ukraine. In addition to Rheinmetall, these are the tank manufacturer KNDS Deutschland (formerly KMW, i.e. Krauss-Maffai Wegmann) and Flensburger Fahrzeugbau GmbH, which maintains and repairs old tanks, among other things. Kamyshin emphasized the advantages of a local presence of German armaments companies. "It is much better to carry out maintenance locally in Ukraine. It's faster, it's more efficient and it's cheaper." According to Kamyshin, Ukraine is now well supplied when it comes to the maintenance of larger equipment. It is now more about smaller systems./hrz/DP/ngu