Ukraine, UK to Germany: "Send in Leopard tanks immediately"

Ukraine, UK to Germany: "Send in Leopard tanks immediately"

Britain is urging Germany to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, a move that Defense Secretary Baroness Goldie said in a speech in the House of Commons would represent “a quantum leap, so a very significant one” in the course of the war. London, he added, could send more Challenger 2 tanks in addition to the 14 already promised.

GERMANY — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz remains evasive despite numerous international pressures to give the go-ahead for the delivery of Leopard tanks to Ukraine. “We continue to supply Ukraine with large quantities of weapons, in close consultation with our partners,” he said in his speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, citing artillery, air defense systems and armored vehicles. When asked why Germany was hesitant about Leoparden, Scholz limited himself to saying that Germany is one of Ukraine’s allies “doing the best”. “Berlin will make the most important decisions about arms deliveries with “friends and partners”, especially the United States. German approval will also be needed for the delivery of Leopard to Kyiv by countries that have bought this German-made tank. Germany , reiterated he, will support Ukraine “as long as necessary”. “Ukraine is defending itself with great success and impressive courage,” continued the Chancellor, underlining what the efforts related to the response of Kiev’s international allies had resulted in Russia already “completely failed to achieve its imperialist goals”.

USA – The United States is preparing to announce one of the largest military aid packages to Ukraine in the next few days, but one that would not include the advanced tanks requested by Kyiv. CNN reports, citing two US military sources. Washington appears to be opposed to the Ukrainian proposal, which was instead accepted by the UK and Poland. London has announced it will send 12 of its Challenger 2s, ushering in a new phase of aid to Kyiv, crossing what previously appeared to be a red line for the United States and European allies.

POLAND – Polish President Andrzej Duda “fears a new Russian offensive” and for this reason stressed the need to send “more weapons to Ukraine”, including “tanks and modern missiles”, at the World Economic Forum in Davos. . The Russians, Duda said, “are still very strong and we fear that they will prepare for a new offensive in a few months, so it is important to send further support to Ukraine, especially modern tanks and modern missiles.”

BULGARIA – Bulgaria has secretly supported Ukraine by supplying 30% of the ammunition and 40% of the diesel used by the Kiev army in the spring. Former Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov and former Finance Minister Assen Vasilev, together with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, told Die Welt.

At the time he was in government, Petkov acted in secret due to the pro-Russian sympathies of part of the Bulgarian political class, including the Socialist Party, his government ally. Deliveries began in April following a visit by Kuleba to Sofia. Bulgaria had plenty of Soviet-era ammunition, and Petkov allowed several middlemen to sell them to Kyiv or other countries, who then passed them on to Ukraine. Many supplies were paid for by London or Washington. The transport of the diesel was even more secret, because the fuel was made from Russian crude oil, which was processed in the refinery operated by the Russian company Lukoil in the Bulgarian port city of Burgas. Here, too, Petkov used intermediaries and sent the diesel via Romania.

Only in December, after the fall of the Petkov government and new elections, did the parliament in Sofia vote for arms deliveries to Kyiv. But the political situation remains unstable and Bulgaria is likely to vote again in the spring for the fifth time since April 2021. Meanwhile, the Lukoil refinery has been under full Bulgarian control since January.

LATVIA – Latvia intends to provide more military aid to Ukraine in the near future, especially Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, helicopters, rifles, ammunition and drones, announced Defense Minister Inara Murniece. Latvia also intends to increase intensive training activities of Ukrainian soldiers in Latvia.