Defense Minister Pistorius at the Altengrabow military training area
Photo: IMAGO/Frederic Kern / IMAGO/Future Image
The new Federal Defense Minister Boris Pistorius no longer considers the special assets for the Bundeswehr to be sufficient.
"The 100 billion will not be enough," said the SPD politician of the "Süddeutsche Zeitung".
“We have new maintenance costs with every new system.
With every new device, there are new and higher running costs.« The 62-year-old also believes that the regular budget of around 50 billion euros a year is not enough in the long run.
"I don't think that's enough."
The special fund was set up last year after the start of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine.
It is intended to enable the German army to be better equipped.
In the past year, no funds have flowed from the special fund, only contracts with armament companies with a volume of a good ten billion have been concluded.
Defense experts have warned that the special credit line of 100 billion euros will not be enough to comprehensively and modernly equip the Bundeswehr again.
The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces, Eva Högl, recently spoke of a financial requirement of 300 billion euros.
"Tanks are not somewhere on the shelf to take away"
Pistorius conceded that the Bundeswehr urgently and quickly needed supplies, also because of the weapons and now also tank deliveries to Ukraine.
»Tanks aren't just somewhere on the shelf to take away.
They have a delivery time, and that's not three weeks.
And ammunition doesn't grow on trees and just wants to be picked,” said Pistorius.
Germany will not be able to meet the demand in the short term.
»In the medium and long term, we must build up an armaments industry in Europe that can do this.
Not everyone needs to develop every weapon system.
And we should come to standardized weapon systems in Europe.«
Pistorius announced a close alliance with the industry to expand production capacities and accelerate deliveries.
Next week he will sit down at a table with the arms industry.
"We have to be faster in procurement," said the minister.
With regard to Leopard 2 tanks, the defense minister also emphasized in the newspaper interview that Germany would not become a party to the war by supplying them.
“Only we also know that Putin is not particularly interested in international law.
But we are sending a clear signal of determination,' he added.
Pistorius: Suspension of conscription a mistake
In the interview, Pistorius also commented on the suspension of conscription in 2011. "If you ask me as a civilian, as a citizen, as a politician, I would say it was a mistake to suspend conscription."
Among other things, conscription was important in order to have a stronger connection to the Bundeswehr in society.
"There used to be conscripts at every other kitchen table," said Pistorius.
"That's also why there was always a connection to civil society." The task now is to "make the Bundeswehr so attractive that good young people are interested in it and apply," said the defense minister.