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Scholz vows to ramp up Germany's armaments industry

Chancellor Olaf Scholz vowed Thursday to ramp up Germany's armaments manufacturing industry, after NATO warned that Ukraine was currently using up more ammunition than allies were producing.

Scholz said he was in talks with the armaments industry to increase production of military equipment for both the Bundeswehr and other European armies.

"We need a running production of important weapons, equipment and ammunition," he said.

"That requires long-term contracts and down payments to build up capacities," he added.

That way, he said, "Germany would create an industrial base that would contribute towards securing peace and freedom in Europe".

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said last month that Ukraine's rate of ammunition usage was "many times higher than our current rate of production".

Until Russia's invasion of Ukraine, post-World War-II Germany had pursued a pacifist path that has for decades led to under-investment in its military.

But three days after Moscow's aggression, Scholz announced a 100-billion-euro fund to bulk up the army and renew its stocks.

Over the last year, Germany has also supplied weapons -- from multiple missile launchers to armoured vehicles -- to Kyiv.

Most recently, Scholz agreed to allow German-made Leopard battle tanks to be sent to Ukraine, significantly ramping up Berlin's military commitments to Kyiv.

In his address to parliament on Thursday, Scholz also hit out at calls particularly from the far left in Germany for Berlin to stop delivering armaments to Kyiv.

"You don't create peace by shouting 'never war again' here in Berlin while at the same time demanding that all arms deliveries to Ukraine be stopped," he said.

"If Ukraine stopped defending itself, then that would not be peace, but the end of Ukraine," he warned.

"Love for peace doesn't mean subjecting oneself to one's bigger neighbour," he said.