POLITICO reports:

Germany on Saturday reversed a historic policy of never sending weapons to conflict zones, saying the Russian invasion of Ukraine was an epochal moment that imperiled the entire post-World War II order across Europe.

The decision was an abrupt change in course, coming after Berlin clung to its initial position for weeks despite the rising Russian menace and pressure from EU and NATO allies.

On Saturday, Berlin finally bowed to that pressure, and to the reality that Russia is encircling Ukrainian cities and threatening to topple the government in Kyiv.

From its own stockpile, the German government will send 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 Stinger anti-aircraft defense systems to Ukraine. The government has also authorized the Netherlands to send Ukraine 400 rocket-propelled grenade launchers and told Estonia it ship over send nine howitzers.

“The Russian invasion of Ukraine marks a turning point,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in a statement. “It threatens our entire post-war order. In this situation, it is our duty to do our utmost to support Ukraine in defending itself against Vladimir Putin’s invading army. Germany stands closely by Ukraine’s side.”

A government spokesperson said the weapons will be delivered “as soon as possible.”

Until Saturday, Germany had stuck to its longstanding practice of not permitting lethal weapons that it controlled to be transferred into a conflict zone….

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