Ukraine, Germany: weapons in Kiev for 1 billion. Zelensky: “We need tanks”

Ukrainian president: “We will still have to fight for the supply of modern tanks”

There Germany does not untie the knot on the supply of Leopard tanks to Ukraine. Meanwhile, however, Berlin, through the new defense minister Boris Pistorius, has announced a military aid package of one billion euros for Kiev in the war against Russia. Pistorius, according to confirmation to CNN by a spokesman for the German defense ministry, announced the news on the sidelines of the contact group meeting held yesterday at the Ramstein air base in Germany. The spokesman did not provide details on what the aid package would include.

“We will still have to fight for the supply of modern tanks, but every day we make it clearer that there is no alternative”, the position reiterated by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Yesterday’s meeting, Zelensky added, “in general will strengthen our resilience”, underlining that “our partners have a principled attitude: they will support Ukraine as much as necessary for our victory”.

The Polish Foreign Minister said that the German indecision on the supply of tanks is paid for in blood by the Ukrainians. “Arming Ukraine to repel Russian aggression is not a decision-making exercise. Ukrainian blood is really being shed. This is the price of hesitation over the supply of Leopards. Action is needed now,” Minister Zbigniew wrote on Twitter. Rau.

Poland has already said it is willing to supply Leopard tanks to Ukraine, but it cannot do so without the approval of Germany, which sold them to it.

The United States, the main supporters of Ukraine, keep a low profile on the issue. “We work closely with Kiev and with allies, these are decisions that each country must make for itself, we do not put pressure on anyone and nobody does them to us,” said White House Security Council spokesman John Kirby . Recognizing that for Ukraine to send tanks, and armored vehicles in general, “is a critical and important need” in a battlefield like the Donbass, Kirby recalled that the new US package includes “500 vehicles armored”. As for the Abrams tanks, which are not included in this package, he recalled that they are “a powerful vehicle, very expensive to operate and maintain and which requires a lot of training”.

In Ramstein, the representatives of the countries that own the German-made tanks met in particular. The Portuguese defense ministry explained that the Lisbon delegation “participated in the meeting convened by Ukraine and Poland, which was attended by the countries that own these means (Leopard 2).” Lisbon offered “training for this type of combat vehicle and expressed the Portuguese government’s readiness to identify, in coordination with its partners, ways to support Ukraine with this capability”.

Estonian Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur bet on a positive outcome for Ukraine, “more than sure” that Germany will not stop sending tanks “neither today nor in the next few days”. Interviewed by BBC radio, the minister said that “I am more than sure that Germany will not stop any other country ready to contribute with tanks”. In short, he added, “we don’t see any obstacle to getting approval for sending tanks to Ukraine”. More uncertain times for the green light.