The European Union ratified on Monday more military aid to Ukraine in the amount of €500 millionsources said, as Berlin faced increased pressure over demands from kyiv to supply Leopard tanks German made.
The EU’s 27 foreign ministers met in Brussels to agree the seventh tranche of aid, after Western countries last week failed to agree on sending battle tanks to Ukraine but pledged billions. in attendance.
The 500 million euro package was approved along with another 45 million in “non-lethal equipment” for the EU military training mission for Ukraine, an EU diplomat said. Two other sources who followed the ministers’ closed-door talks confirmed this.
The German Leopard Main Battle Tanks, Used by armies across Europe, they are considered the most suitable for Ukraine, but Berlin must authorize their sale and has not yet done so.
Upon her arrival at the meeting in Brussels, the German Foreign Minister, annalena baerbock, he did not want to give more details about his remarks on Sunday, when he said that Berlin would not stand in the way of Poland. He added that it is important “to do everything possible to defend Ukraine.”
The chancellor’s centre-left Social Democratic party Olaf Schölz argues that the West should Avoid sudden movements that could escalate the war. But several allies reject that stance, saying that Russia is already fully committed to its assault on Ukraine, which has stretched out for 11 months.
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergisstated that the tanks should not be delayed another day, while his Estonian counterpartUrmas Reinsalústated that Germany, as “the engine of Europe”, had a special responsibility to help Ukraine.
His Luxembourgish counterpart, Jean Asselbornclaimed that Russia could win the war if the Europeans “do not help Ukraine with what it needs now.”
The ministers are expected to discuss the use of frozen Russian assets in Europe to help rebuild Ukraine, although they are not expected to reach a decision on the matter, as well as a tenth package of sanctions against Russia due to take effect next month.
Hungaryone of the EU members with a moderate position on Russia, approved the aid tranche of 500 million euros, but showed its opposition to more sanctions, especially if they restrict Budapest’s cooperation with Moscow on nuclear energy.
For their part, the authorities of Finland They have assured this Monday that they are “waiting” for the decision of the German Government on the shipment of tanks.
The foreign minister, Pekka Haavistohas indicated that the country could contribute to the training for the use of this type of tanks and their maintenance”, in addition to offering “spare parts and even transferring vehicles”.
Thus, it has specified that the country “is waiting for the decision of the countries that lead the European bloc, but mainly Germany” in relation to the supply of tanks to the Ukrainian Armed Forces to face the Russian forces.
“We are waiting for some of the most influential, including Germany. (…) Later we will see how we can unite ”, she asserted, according to information from the newspaper ‘Helsingin Sanomat’.
Ukraine keeps up the pressure over Germany so it can finally receive Leopard 2 tanks, as President Volodimir Zelensky warns that the feared Russian offensive could come from any direction, a warning that comes amid Russian reports of a breakthrough in the east and southeast .
“The offensive can be from any direction, in the south or in the east. They have set themselves the goal of reaching the administrative borders of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Tasks are set and hundreds, thousands of people die every day,” Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky warned in an interview with the German channel ARD.
To thwart Russian plans, kyiv insists on the need to receive heavy weapons as soon as possible from its western allies after not receiving the long-awaited German Leopard 2 last Friday.
At the same time, Zelensky is convinced that a few tanks will not tip the scales in favor of Ukraine, which needs as many armored vehicles as possible. “When they (the Russians) have a thousand tanks, no country will solve the matter by deciding to send us 10, 20 or 50 tanks,” he opined.
Still, any announcements about the delivery of main battle tanks further “motivate” Ukrainian soldiers to continue fighting for their values, he said.
In this sense, called on Berlin to put aside its reservations and authorize the shipment of the Leopard 2 to kyiv.
“Do the Leopards have or do language competitions? If you have them, give them to us”, he pointed out in reference to the information about the alleged disagreement between the US and Germany to condition the delivery of the German Leopards to the American Abrams.
Meanwhile, Poland announced that it will apply “soon” for permission from Germany to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.
In any case, the Polish Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawieckistated that if such consent is not obtained, Warsaw will also give kyiv the tanks that it has at its disposal, “along with other countries”.
“We are constantly putting pressure on the Berlin government to make their “Leopards” available (for export),” Morawiecki emphasized, adding that the Germans “have more than 350 operational “Leopards” and about 200 in storage.”
According to the press Norwaythis Monday the matter will be addressed in a meeting of deputies behind closed doors.
Too Netherlands has been open to handing over its Leopard stocks to Ukraine.
German tanks, if sent to kyiv, would add to the 14 Challenger 14 from the United Kingdom and about twenty Soviet T-72s that I would have already sent Morocco to Ukraine, according to the defense portal Menadefense, which indicates that this decision was made under pressure from the United States.
London It plans to start “in the next few days” the training of the Ukrainian forces in the handling of these modern combat tanks.
(With information from Reuters, EP and EFE)
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