On Thursday, January 19th, 2023, eleven NATO nations approved billions of dollars in weapons aid for Ukraine. Some have promised to send the tanks Ukraine has requested if Germany agrees. Yet, Germany has not lifted a veto on deliveries it fears could provoke Moscow. The issue dominated Friday’s discussions in Germany between Western allies at Ramstein.
Ukraine fears winter will give Russian troops time to regroup and attack it. Therefore, it is pushing for the Leopard battle tanks made in Germany, which an array of NATO nations are holding, but Germany’s approval is required to transfer the tanks to Ukraine.
As he spoke to German ARD television on Thursday, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said that citizens of his country are dying daily. He requested the nations with Leopard tanks to supply them to Ukraine so it could defend itself and recapture occupied land. He added that Ukrainian troops did not plan to use the tanks to attack Russia.
Olaf Scholz, the German Chancellor and a Social Democrat, has been unwilling to send weapons that people could see as provoking Moscow. Most of Berlin’s Western allies state that concern is misplaced since Russia is currently committed to the war. Russia has repeatedly warned that weapon transfers can prolong the conflict, increasing suffering in Ukraine.
Previously, a government source stated that Berlin could lift its objections if Washington sent its Abrams tanks. Mykhailo Podolyak, Zelenskiy’s adviser, tweeted that true leadership involves leading by example rather than looking up to others. Many people worldwide agree that Ukraine needs tanks so the war can end properly.
NATO member countries, including Poland and Britain, pledged to send military aid as an Estonian military base. In a joint statement, they said they were committed to delivering exceptional donations, including heavy artillery, main battle tanks, ammunitions, infantry fighting vehicles, and air defense to Ukraine’s defense.
Arvydas Anusauskas, the Lithuanian Defense Minister, told Reuters that some nations would provide Ukraine with Leopard tanks. Kajsa Ollongren, the Dutch Defense minister, stated that she was confident the countries would reach a solution. Finland and Poland have already stated they would send the tanks once Germany lifts the veto. Poland suggested it may do so even if Germany attempts to block it.