The Contact Group for Ukrainewhich are made up of Western allies of kyivmeets this Friday at the US base in ramstein (Germany) for a ministerial meeting focused on the demand for greater military support for that country against Russia, including the supply of tanks leopard.
The meeting was attended by the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenbergthe United States Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austinand the Ukrainian Defense Minister, Oleksii Reznikovas well as their counterparts in Germany, the United Kingdom and Poland, among others.
The appointment is preceded by kyiv’s claim to its allies to to “significantly strengthen” arms suppliesincluding German-made “Leopards”, expressed in a joint statement by Reznikov together with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
The text explicitly thanked the decision of the United Kingdom to transfer an armored squad Challenger 2although he warned that this contribution “is not enough” in the face of the “substantial quantitative advantage in troops, weapons and equipment” of Russia.
kyiv called on the States that have Leopard 2 to join those supplies and listed Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden and Turkey, among others.
kyiv’s lawsuit comes amid strong pressure from berlinincluding from allies such as Polandto authorize shipments of “Leopard” to allies that have this type of tank.
Any supply of these German-made armored vehicles requires authorization from Berlin.
In an interview on Thursday night on public television ARDPresident Volodimir Zelensky himself insisted on his demand: “You can continue talking about it for six months, but in my country people die every day,” said the Ukrainian leader.
“If you have ‘Leopards’, give them to us,” Zelensky insisted, to reject the German government’s argument that a decision will not be taken alone, but in consensus with its allies: “The ‘Leopard’ will not circulate in the Russian Federation. They are to defend us.”he claimed.
Germany has so far refused to authorize the shipment of these active combat tanks in other countries of the NATO and affirmed that such a decision can only be adopted “in coordination” with the allies.
In German media it has been advanced that could lift this veto if the United States allows the shipment of its Abrams tanks, something complex, since these require more training and support than the Leopard. From the Pentagon such a shipment was refused, among other things because the Abrams need jet fuel, which Ukraine does not have.
The question weighs on the new German defense minister, Boris Pistoriuswho took office on Thursday and held a first meeting yesterday with his US counterpart Austin.
To the pressures from Ukraine were added yesterday the demands expressed in a previous meeting in Estonia between ministers or senior defense officials from ten NATO countries, who spoke out for the shipment to kyiv of more heavy weaponsincluding tanks.
The meeting at Ramstein, the largest US military base in Europe, will open at 0800 GMT and Austin is scheduled to address the media around 1430 GMT.
(With information from EFE)
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