Wolodymyr Selenskyj thanks – and asks for fighter jets
Since yesterday it has been clear: tanks from German and American production are to be delivered to the Ukraine. President Selenskyj thanked - and asked for more weapons: missiles and fighter jets.
A few hours after Germany and the United States had promised to supply battle tanks, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked his country’s western allies for long-range missiles and combat aircraft.
“The more support our heroes on the front lines get from the world, the faster Russian aggression will end,” said Zelenskyy in his nightly video address.
Zelenskyi called on Kiev’s western allies to deliver the promised tanks quickly and in sufficient quantities. “It’s now about speed and quantity,” he said, referring to the equipment to be delivered and the necessary training of soldiers. The “terror state” Russia must lose the war.
In addition, Selenskyj thanked Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and US President Joe Biden for their commitment. He also spoke to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
Change of course in Germany and the USA
After much hesitation, the USA and Germany announced yesterday that they would be supplying main battle tanks to Ukraine. Specifically, 14 “Leopard 2” are to be made available from German stocks. However, since Berlin also allows its allies to export their arsenals, there should be a total of around 90 tanks.
The US government wants to deliver 31 “Abrams” battle tanks. Here, too, there was official confirmation. And here, too, the US government has changed course: Washington had long declared that the “Abrams” were not suitable for the Ukrainian armed forces.
However, Biden made it clear that the delivery of the “Abrams” tanks to Ukraine would “take some time”. According to US government circles, it could even be months before Ukrainian soldiers can steer and maintain the “Abrams”.
Many countries want to deliver
In addition to Germany and the USA, numerous other countries announced that they would supply battle tanks. Among other things, the Netherlands wants to buy the tanks previously leased from Germany and then make them available to Ukraine. Great Britain has already announced that it will deliver 14 British-made “Challenger 2” main battle tanks to Ukraine.
The Polish government wants to deliver 14 “Leopard 2” tanks to Ukraine. Finland also declared that it would join tank deliveries from other countries. France is considering supplying “Leclerc” tanks. Spain is ready to deliver Leopard tanks to Ukraine, the Defense Ministry said, according to the EFE news agency. Norway also wants to provide “Leopard” main battle tanks to Ukraine.
“No War Party”
According to Scholz, Germany has not become a party to the war by agreeing to supply battle tanks. He said that in the evening on the ZDF program “What now, Mr. Scholz?”.
“There must be no war between Russia and NATO.”
Scholz described the deliveries as a clear sign of solidarity with Ukraine and also as a clear message to Russian President Vladimir Putin that his “imperialist war” would not be successful. At the same time, one must always be careful not to become a party to the war.
Pistorius sees arms deliveries as “no alternative”
In his own words, Defense Minister Boris Pistorius also does not believe that Russia will declare Germany its main opponent. “All the Allies are on board,” he said in the daily topics interview. “We are not alone, we are not the main opponent either.” According to international law, Germany is on the safe side. “We didn’t become a war party with that either.” Pistorius described the weapons deliveries as “simply without alternative.”
In order to close the gaps in the Bundeswehr caused by the arms deliveries as quickly as possible, Pistorius announced timely talks with the armaments industry – possibly as early as next week.
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