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Ukraine minister calls tank indecision 'disappointment'
War

Ukraine minister calls tank indecision 'disappointment'

2 min. 21.01.2023
Germany indecision on whether to send its main battle tanks to Kyiv is a "huge disappointment for all Ukrainians", Melnyk said
Poland has already announced that it intends to supply Leopard 2 tanks from its stocks to Ukraine, increasing pressure on Germany to follow suit
Poland has already announced that it intends to supply Leopard 2 tanks from its stocks to Ukraine, increasing pressure on Germany to follow suit
Photo credit: AFP

No decision was made on the provision of Germany’s Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine at Friday’s meeting on Friday at Ramstein Air Base, although Berlin ordered a review of its tank inventories that could be a prelude to an offer. US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin also had no news to share on M1 Abrams main battle tanks from the US. 

Even so, Austin warned that Ukraine needs advanced weapons before an expected new Russian offensive. “We have a window of opportunity here between now and the spring, whenever they commence their operation,” Austin said after a meeting of the Ukraine Defence Contact Group. Ukrainian officials criticised the allies’ indecision. 

Germany indecision on whether to send its main battle tanks to Kyiv is a “huge disappointment for all Ukrainians,” Deputy Foreign Minister Andriy Melnyk told CNN. 

In an interview Friday, Melnyk praised the UK’s recent decision to pledge its Challenger 2 tanks, adding he hoped the move might prompt other countries to follow suit. “That might be a trigger, hopefully, for other countries but unfortunately not for Germany yet,” he said. 

Separately, presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak urged allies to “think faster” and said indecision “is killing more of our people.”

The foreign ministers of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia again called on Germany to provide Leopard tanks to Ukraine, after no decision on the issue emerged Friday from the allied donors’ meeting in Germany. 

“Germany as the leading European power has special responsibility in this regard,” Lithuania’s Gabrielius Landsbergis said on Twitter. 

German Chancellor Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron pledged to strengthen the European Union in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in a joint article for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung published on Friday. 

Scholz and Macron are due to meet Sunday in Paris for the 60th anniversary of the Elysee Treaty, signed between Charles de Gaulle and Konrad Adenauer to end years of hostility. They said Europe needs to invest more in its armed forces and in the armaments industry. 

Poland will donate a brigade of T-72 tanks and infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine, as well as provide training on the equipment, said Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak. 

Russian authorities on Friday deployed air-defence installations in and around Moscow, including near President Vladimir Putin’s residence, after several recent drone attacks hit the country’s heartland. 

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.


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