Germany will supply Ukraine with seven self-propelled armoured howitzers, Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht announced on Saturday.
The training of the first group of some 20 Ukrainian troops on the Panzerhaubitze 2000 howitzer is expected to start next week in the German town of Idar-Oberstein, a Reuters report cited Zorn as saying.. These soldiers had experience in operating Soviet-built howitzers.
The Panzerhaubitzen 2000 artillery system is a track-mounted vehicle with a cannon that can fire shells up to 40 kilometers (25 miles), according to the German military.
Lambrecht made the announcement during a trip to Slovakia to meet with German soldiers who have been deployed in the eastern European country that shares a border with Ukraine.
The heavy weapons will come out of Bundeswehr inventories and be delivered as soon as they emerge from maintenance over the next weeks, Lambrecht and her chief of defence, general Eberhard Zorn, told reporters in the Slovak town of Sliac.
"We have to confront the Russian aggression, we have to support Ukraine in this fight, in this war," Dutch Defence Minister Kajsa Ollongren said at a joint news conference with Lambrecht.
Kyiv had requested 12 howitzers and swift training to quickly deploy the weapons in the battlefield, Ollongren said at Sliac air base, where the Germans and Dutch have set up Patriot missile defence batteries since Russia mounted its military operation against Ukraine.