BERLIN - Germany has started working on strengthening its basement shelters as well as building up crisis stocks in case of war, the Welt am Sonntag newspaper reported on Saturday, citing the country's interior minister.

After decades of attrition of Germany's armed forces, Russia's war in Ukraine has led to a major policy shift with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledging to increase defence spending and injecting 100 billion euros ($109 billion) into the army.

The government is also looking into upgrading its public shelter systems and will increase spending on civil protection, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser told the newspaper.

"There are currently 599 public shelters in Germany. We will check whether we could upgrade more of such systems. In any case, the dismantling has stopped," Faeser said.

Germany is working on new concepts for strengthening underground parking lots, subway stations and basements to become possible shelters, she said, adding that the government has given the federal states 88 million euros to install new sirens.

"But as far as nationwide coverage is concerned, we're not even close," Faeser added.

The country will also build up crisis stocks with supplies including medical equipment, protective clothing, masks or medication, she said.

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(Reporting by Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Zuzanna Szymanska)