According to a senior adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky, the West’s “indecision” about the shipment of further weapons to Ukraine is “killing more of our people.”
Mykhailo Podolyak stated on Twitter that “the death of Ukrainians is every day of delay.”
His comments follow the defense minister of Ukraine’s claim that he had a “honest discussion” about German Leopard 2 tanks with his counterpart in Germany, which Kyiv is urgently demanding to take on Russian armor.
Germany has claimed that it is not preventing other nations from sending German-made Leopard tanks.
“We had an open conversation about Leopards 2. I will continue, “Oleksii Reznikov stated following a Friday meeting with Western friends.
More armored vehicles, air defense systems, and ammunition would be sent, according to the deal reached at the summit at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.
An aide to Mr. Reznikov told the BBC on Saturday that NATO nations committed to assisting Ukraine needed to be well ahead of the opposition.
According to Yuriy Sak, the West needed to clarify what it meant to stand with Ukraine and that it did not just entail keeping the country’s front line stable.
To be able to defend our territory, he explained, “means to be able to de-occupy our territory, liberate our regions, and for this we need heavy tanks, for this we need armoured vehicles.”
As it is simple to maintain and was created expressly to combat with the Russian T-90 tanks being employed in the invasion, the Leopard 2 is viewed as having the potential to shift the course of events for Ukraine.
German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius stated that there was still disagreement on the shipment of Leopards but refuted claims that Berlin was preventing it.
Other nations who wish to supply Leopards, like Poland and Finland, are prohibited from doing so until Berlin grants the go-ahead under German export restrictions.
Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, thanked NATO allies for their military support but added, “we will still have to struggle for the supply of modern tanks.”
“We make it increasingly clear every day that there is no other option and that a choice about tanks needs to be made.”
The majority of Ukraine’s tanks today are outdated Soviet variants, and Russian firepower frequently outnumbers and outguns them.
All around Europe, there are more than 2,000 Leopards storing in warehouses. About 300 of them, according to President Zelensky, may aid in the defeat of Russia.
Berlin was ready to act fast, according to Mr. Pistorius, but he was unable to predict when a decision about the tanks may be made.
Due to a number of causes, including international diplomacy and the effects of World War Two, Germany has found itself in a bind.
Prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, it had a policy of avoiding supplying weapons to combat areas.
By contributing artillery, air defense systems, and Marder infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine, Germany is now “among the allies giving most military, financial, and humanitarian aid to Ukraine,” according to Nato commander Jens Stoltenberg.
However, Germany is reluctant to supply Leopard tanks unless they are included in a larger Nato package that ideally also includes the potent M1 Abrams tanks from the United States. The US has disputed this, claiming that the Abrams tanks are unsuitable for the Ukrainian army because of their pricey and challenging maintenance requirements.
In spite of this, there has been pressure to get Germany to send tanks and to get the US to send its own.
German Defense Minister Lloyd Austin refuted the claim that Berlin was waiting for the US to initiate contact. After the gathering of 54 nations on Friday at Ramstein Air Base, he remarked, “This notion of unlocking – in my perspective it’s not an issue.
Olaf Scholz, the German chancellor, has been apprehensive about getting involved in any kind of escalation in Ukraine since Germany is still troubled by the destruction that the Nazi regime inflicted during World War Two.
Johann Wadephul, a prominent opposition Christian Democrat (CDU) politician in Germany, criticized the “policy of rejection” on the Leopards adopted by the administration and claimed it would harm Germany’s standing abroad. He inquired, “What is Scholz waiting for?”
Zbigniew Rau, the foreign minister of Poland, criticized Germany for their hesitation as well.
“It is not a decision-making exercise to arm Ukraine in order to fend off Russian aggression. There is actual bloodshed in Ukraine. The cost of delaying Leopard deliveries is this. We must act immediately “Tweeted he.
Although Western nations invested billions in other weapons, Ukraine was not satisfied with the outcome because Germany had not committed to providing tanks.
Other nations, including the UK, which will send 14 Challenger 2 tanks, have also committed to sending tanks.
This week, the US announced additional funding totaling more than $2.5 billion (£2 billion), including armored vehicles.
In addition to other supplies, the Pentagon offered an additional 90 Stryker troop carriers, 59 Bradley armored vehicles, and Avenger air defense systems.
After meeting on Thursday in Estonia, nine European nations also pledged their own weapon support.