Scholz urges Europe to increase aid to Ukraine

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called on Europe to increase its military aid to Ukraine, particularly air defense systems, AFP reported.

Russia has attacked more than 30 towns and villages in northeastern Ukraine's Kharkiv region after launching a surprise ground offensive along the border last week as Kiev grapples with a delay in Western aid.

Germany announced it would send a third Patriot air defense system to Ukraine in April, a decision Scholz said was difficult because they do not have many of the systems.

"But it was important to do it and we hope that some other European countries can follow it," he said during a summit on security and competitiveness in Sweden with the prime ministers of the five Nordic countries.

Ukraine needs "a lot of ammunition, artillery tanks and air defense, and especially the Patriot and the Iris-T system from Germany, which will be most useful," Scholz said.

"We will support Ukraine as long as necessary," he stressed.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, whose country is also a major donor to Ukraine, echoed Scholz's call.

"The main reason for the losses in Ukraine at the moment is the lack of air defense, and we have such systems. So if we have only one desire ... it should be to deliver air defense systems as quickly as possible," he said she.

"We need to accelerate, we need to scale up in the short term," she said.

Ukraine "cannot win alone... it has to do it with equipment from us".

Scandinavian countries and Germany have been among Ukraine's biggest donors since Russia invaded in February 2022.

Berlin is the world's second largest donor to Ukraine, having provided 14.5 billion euros so far, according to data from the Kiel Institute. /BGNES