Sticking to No Weapons Policy, Germany Offers Ukraine Helmets

Ukrainian officials say the helmets are not enough

Under increasing pressure to send weapons to Ukraine, Germany said Wednesday that it will supply Kyiv with 5,000 military helmets, an offer that Ukrainian officials say is not enough.

Andriy Melnyk, the Ukrainian ambassador in Berlin, said he appreciated the “symbolic gesture” but that it isn’t enough. “What we need the most are defensive weapons,” he said.

The mayor Kyiv took a stronger tone and said the German offer was a “joke” that left him “speechless. “What kind of support will Germany send next? Pillows?” said Mayor Vitali Klitschko.

Amid US claims that Russia is planning to invade Ukraine, Kyiv has been receiving a steady flow of weapons from the US and other NATO allies. Germany’s new government said in its coalition agreement that it would not send weapons to potential conflict zones, and the Germans are sticking to the policy.

The German position has some NATO allies frustrated, and US media outlets are questioning why Berlin isn’t eager to play along. The New York Times published an article Tuesday titled “Where Is Germany in the Ukraine Standoff? Its Allies Wonder.”

German officials have cited historical reasons for their hesitance to arm Ukraine. Another reason is that Berlin wants the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that connects Russia and Germany to finally start flowing with gas.

Along with France, Germany brokered talks between Ukraine and Russia on Wednesday. The negotiations concluded with both sides agreeing that the Donbas ceasefire must be upheld.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.