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Germany eyes missile defence system from Israel - reports

Germany eyes missile defence system from Israel - reports
Germany eyes missile defence system from Israel - reports Copyright Thomson Reuters 2022
Copyright Thomson Reuters 2022
By Reuters
Published on Updated
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BERLIN - Germany might buy a missile defence system from Israel, according to a media report and lawmakers, as the country considers how to spend an injection into the defence budget in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

A missile defence shield for the whole territory of Germany was one of the topics discussed when Chancellor Olaf Scholz met with Eberhard Zorn, the inspector general of the Bundeswehr, last week, the Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported.

Specifically, they spoke about a possible acquisition of the Israeli "Arrow 3" system, the paper said.

The defence ministry declined to comment on the report. Israel's Defence Ministry had no immediate comment.

Andreas Schwarz, a member of parliament for Scholz's Social Democrats who is a budget spokesperson, told the newspaper such a system made sense.

"We must protect ourselves better against the threat from Russia. For this, we need a Germany-wide missile defence shield quickly," he told the newspaper, adding: "The Israeli Arrow 3 system is a good solution."

In a landmark speech days after Russia's Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, Scholz announced that Germany would sharply increase its defence spending to more than 2% of its economic output and inject 100 billion euros ($110 billion) into defence.

Moscow says the goals for what Putin calls a "special military operation" include demilitarising and "denazifying" its neighbour. Ukraine and its Western allies calls this a pretext for an unprovoked invasion.

Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, the head of parliament's defence committee, said Germany should consider various options for missile defence, including against high flying ballistic missiles which enter space for part of their flight.

"Israel produces such a system and it makes sense to not only look into different scenarios but also to potentially buy it as soon as possible," he told Welt television.

($1 = 0.9107 euros)

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