MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 03rd February, 2023) Germany is considering buying back 15 Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft guns (SPAAG) from Qatar, which acquired these systems from Berlin more than two years ago in order to provide them to Ukrainian army, German media reported on Friday.
In 2020, Germany signed a contract to send 15 Gepard SPAAGs to Qatar to ensure the security during the 2022 World Cup and provide protection from terrorist threats from air, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported.
Soon after the end of the tournament on December 18, German officials came to the Qatari Foreign Ministry to discuss buying back the Gepard systems including the munitions stocks so as to provide them to Ukraine, according to the newspaper.
Sueddeutsche Zeitung also reported that Germany was also planning to send its remaining seven anti-aircraft guns of this type to Kiev so that it would have 37 Gepard systems in total. However, there could be an issue with munitions since they were mostly produced in Switzerland, which has refused to hand them over to Ukraine so far due to its neutrality status, despite numerous requests by the German government, the newspaper added.
In April 2022, Moscow sent a note to NATO member states condemning their military assistance to Kiev after Russia started its military operation in Ukraine. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that any arms shipments on Ukrainian territory would be "legitimate targets" for Russian forces.