At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Ukraine’s President singled out Germany for its hesitance to supply modern Leopard tanks, unless the US also sends in tanks.
Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the World Economic Forum in Davos via video link
By India Today Web Desk: Ukraine today intensified pressure on Western allies to provide heavier weapons and Leopard tanks to help step up the fight against Russia ahead of a major donor meeting, reported news agency AFP.
At the annual World Economic Forum gathering in Davos, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky singled out Germany for its hesitance to supply its modern Leopard tanks, unless the United States also sends in tanks.
“There are times where we shouldn’t hesitate,” Zelensky, connected through a video link, said.
“When someone says ‘I will give tanks if someone else will also share tanks’… I don’t think this is the right strategy to go with.”
Zelensky’s foreign and defence ministers echoed his plea, calling on countries and allies with Leopard tanks, including Germany and Turkey, to send them.
“We appeal to all partner states… to considerably reinforce their practical contribution,” Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said in a joint statement, AFP reported.
WHO PLEDGED WHAT
Several allies of war-battered Ukraine have announced plans to extend military support to Kyiv.
Sweden plans to send Archer artillery to Ukraine, PM Ulf Kristersson said. Britain will send 600 Brimstone missiles to Ukraine, the country’s defence minister said, while Denmark said it will donate 19 French-made howitzers to the war-torn nation.
France has offered its highly mobile AMX-10 RCs, offensive weapons long seen as off-limits by the Western nations, while the US has promised to send its powerful Bradley armoured fighting vehicles. EU chief Charles Michel said that he is travelling to Kyiv to reiterate Europe’s support.
According to a New York Times report, the Biden administration is considering the potential of Ukraine using US-supplied weapons against Russian targets in Crimea.
Tomorrow the United States will convene a meeting of around 50 countries, including the 30 NATO members, in Germany to discuss extending military aid to Ukraine.
“The main message is there will be more support and more advanced support, heavier weapons, and more modern weapons, because this is a fight for our values,” NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said in Davos on Wednesday, reported AFP.
The US and Germany today tried to resolve a stand-off that has stopped the West from sending heavy tanks to Ukraine.
Berlin has so far blocked allies from sending its Leopard 2 tanks. Washington and other Western allies say the Leopards, which Germany made in the thousands during the Cold War and exported to its allies, are the only suitable option available in big enough numbers.
A German government source said Berlin would lift its objections if Washington sends its own Abrams tanks, reported news agency Reuters. But US officials say they have no plans yet to send the Abrams, which run on powerful turbine engines and use too much fuel for Kyiv’s strained logistics system to supply to the frontlines.
Poland and Finland have already said they would send Leopards if Germany lifts its veto. In fact, Poland suggested it might send them even if Germany tries to block it. Canada and The Netherlands have already announced armoured vehicles and air defences.
The Kremlin on Thursday warned of an “extremely dangerous” escalation in Ukraine if the West sends more longer range weapons capable of striking Russia.
“Potentially, this is extremely dangerous,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
“It will mean bringing the conflict to a whole new level, which, of course, will not bode well from the point of view of global and pan-European security,” he added.
(With input from agencies)