Germany to set up hub in Slovakia to repair arms for Ukraine

Swearing-in ceremony for new recruits, in Berlin

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Germany will establish a maintenance hub in Slovakia to service and repair weapons it has delivered to Ukraine, German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht said on Tuesday.

"We have reached agreement, and work can start immediately so that all the equipment which has been supplied (to Kyiv) can be repaired after coming out of battle," she told reporters as she arrived for a meeting with her EU counterparts in Brussels.

Slovak Defence Minister Jaroslav Nad said repair work would start in the next several weeks, and would focus mainly on howitzers and anti-aircraft systems.

Talks on the arrangement, funded by Germany, began in September, Nad said, adding the two countries sought a quick agreement to aid Ukraine as it fights Russia's invasion.

"Because Russian aggression in Ukraine does not let up, our help cannot be delayed either," Nad said in a statement.

Lambrecht also said Berlin was planning to train some 5,000 Ukrainian soldiers in Germany by next June as part of a European Union training mission.

(Reporting by Sabine Siebold and Benoit Van Overstraeten, additional reporting by Robert Muller in Prague; editing by Mark Heinrich)