Germany is reportedly blocking Nato ally Estonia from supplying arms to Ukraine to defend itself against a possible Russian invasion.
Berlin is refusing Talinn permission to send artillery weapons previously exported from Germany to Ukraine, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Estonia wants to send Soviet-made D-30 howitzers to Ukraine as it seeks to bolster its military.
But Berlin has a veto on any transfer of the weapons under the terms of their export from Germany.
“Germany, they have a lot of hesitation to deliver to us,” Oleksiy Reznikov, the Ukrainian defense minister, said.
“Hopefully we will get the approval from Germany,” said Kristo Enn Vaga, an adviser to the Estonian defense minister. “Estonia has shown that we want to help Ukraine in practical terms in any way we can.”
Unlike Nato allies such as Britain, Germany has refused repeated Ukrainian requests for arms, under a longstanding policy of banning weapons exports to conflict zones.
This is not the first time it has gone further and prevented Nato allies from sending weapons. The previous German government under Angela Merkel blocked the US and Lithuania from supplying weapons Kyiv had already paid for under a Nato programme.
“Weapons deliveries would not be helpful at the moment — that is the consensus within the government,” Christine Lambrecht, the German defence minister, said on Saturday.
Ms Lambrecht said Germany would instead send a field hospital to Ukraine to treat wounded soldiers.
“We are standing on Kiev’s side. We must do everything to de-escalate the situation,” she said.
The howitzers Estonia wants to send to Ukraine were originally based in communist East Germany. After German reunification in 1990 they were exported to Finland, which transferred them in turn to Estonia in 2009.
Under the terms of their original German export license, Berlin retained a veto on any future to transfer to another country.
Under Mrs Merkel, Germany prevented the delivery of rifles from the US and anti-drone systems from Lithuania to Ukraine last year.
Because the weapons were purchased via a Nato agency, all members of the alliance had an effective veto.
Berlin later dropped its objection to delivery of the Lithuanian anti-drone system but not the American rifles.
It was German opposition that prompted Ukraine to switch from sourcing arms via Nato to bilateral deals with countries like Britain and Estonia.
Last week RAF planes carrying weapons to Ukraine took a circuitous route that avoided flying over Germany. The Ministry of Defence said it had not requested permission to enter German airspace and denied reports the route had anything to do with German policy.
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