CDU leader Friedrich Merz has accused the federal government of deliberately holding back on equipping Ukraine with weapons in the defensive fight against Russia.

"Germany does not deliver and Germany is delayed and people die every day, in large numbers," said the opposition leader on Thursday in the ZDF "Morgenmagazin".

"If all states had behaved like Germany, then the Russian army would have already taken Kyiv."

For weeks, Chancellor Olaf Scholz has been accused of being too hesitant about delivering arms to Ukraine.

The federal government has already provided Ukraine with large-scale anti-tank weapons, anti-aircraft missiles and machine guns as well as around 15 million rounds of ammunition - but no heavy weapons yet.

Self-propelled howitzers and anti-aircraft vehicles of the Gepard type have been promised, but have not yet arrived in Ukraine.

On Wednesday in the Bundestag, however, Scholz made three new promises: Ukraine should get four multiple rocket launchers, a modern air defense system and a modern tracking radar.

From Merz' point of view, Germany could have done more.

"Germany could have delivered Marder tanks to Ukraine, they don't do it, they delay, they announce it, they say ring exchange and the ring exchange doesn't work," he said.

"So here the brakes are deliberately put on." Merz did not say what intention he suspected behind it.

Melnyk is grateful

The ambassador of the Ukraine in Germany, Andriy Melnyk, on the other hand, struck a different tone for the first time and welcomed the announcements by Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) about new arms deliveries.

"We are happy that things are finally moving and that the ice has been broken," Melnyk told the "Stuttgarter Zeitung" and the "Stuttgarter Nachrichten" (Thursday editions). Been trying for almost three months."

"We can finally say to Chancellor Scholz from the bottom of our hearts: Thank you!" said Melnyk. "Now we can really speak of a turning point for Ukraine. We hope for more modern weapon systems from Germany."

The Ukrainian ambassador is one of the harshest critics of the federal government and has repeatedly accused it of being too hesitant about arms deliveries in the past.