Germany moves towards an agreement to deliver Leopard tanks to Ukraine | War in Ukraine
Danish soldiers in front of a Leopard tank at a military camp in Estonia
Under pressure since days, Germany opened the way on Tuesday for an authorization for allied countries to deliver Leopard heavy tanks insisted on by Ukraine, and promised to respond “with the urgency required” to a request to that effect from Poland.
On Tuesday evening, two German media, the Spiegel and the news channel NTV, even assured that Chancellor Olaf Scholz was going to give the green light, probably on Wednesday.
Germany is sending Leopard tanks to Ukraine, the Liberal Democratic Party (FDP), a member of the governing coalition, tweeted.
The German leader, who is due to speak before the Lower House of the German Parliament on Wednesday, would also agree to countries, including Poland, wishing to deliver Leopard 2 tanks to kyiv, according to these media.
< p class="e-p">Discussions must end with decisions, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Tuesday evening. The allies have the required number of tanks needed by the Ukrainian army to overthrow the troops from Moscow, he said in his daily address, hammering that the needs are greater than 5, 10 or 15 tanks. /p>
The acquisition of Leopard 2-type tanks would represent a significant gain for kyiv that could help in its war against the invader Russian. (File photo)
Mr. Zelensky also defended decisions needed to have a strong state after a series of top officials were removed from their posts in the wake of a corruption case over army supplies. .
Four deputy ministers, including that of Defense Vyacheslav Shapovalov, as well as five governors and other officials had to leave their posts in the wake of this affair.
In Berlin, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said he expressly encouraged partner nations that have Leopard tanks ready for deployment to train Ukrainian forces on those tanks, during a press conference in Berlin with Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO.
These declarations constitute a step forward in the position of Germany, where the government of Olaf Scholz suffers growing pressure to give willing partners the green light to deliver German-made Leopard tanks to Ukraine.
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So far, Finland and Poland have said they are ready to do so. Warsaw, which wants to create a coalition of countries supporting Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks, has officially sent a request to do so, the receipt of which was confirmed by Berlin on Tuesday.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said he hoped for a quick response, because the Germans are delaying, procrastinating, acting in a way that is difficult to understand.
Head of the ;NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, meanwhile welcomed the clear message of the new German Defense Minister, in office for less than a week.
Such deliveries do not x27; will bring nothing good to Russian-German relations, however reacted the spokesman of the Kremlin, Dmitry Peskov.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz in front of a Leopard tank on a German army practice range.
According to observers, these tanks are likely to have a significant impact on the Ukrainians in the face of the steamroller of Russian troops, who are regaining some ground on the eastern front of Ukraine.
On Monday, Poland made it clear that it was ready to do without Berlin's authorization. This country, which says it is willing to send 14 Leopard 2s to kyiv, is discussing this with about fifteen states, because many European armies have such armored vehicles.
The fear of a military escalation with Moscow and his reluctance to make Germany assume leadership in the Western camp explain the Chancellor's hesitation, according to analysts.
For Ukraine, the military and financial support of Western allies is crucial. She says she needs hundreds of modern tanks and other armaments to carry out a new offensive.
Today marks exactly eleven months since the start of the war. full-scale war. The 335th day. A day we will spend as the 334th, joining forces for victory, said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
This day is also marked by the return in force of x27;an endemic evil in this country: corruption.
In addition to the Deputy Defense Minister, the Deputy Minister for Social Policy and two others for Territorial Development were removed from their posts after an alleged corruption scandal involving army supplies, the first of this magnitude since 24 February 2022.
Other sackings had already recently taken place in Ukraine, which was ranked 122nd out of 180 on the Corruption Perceptions Index of the NGO Transparency International in 2021.
On Sunday, Deputy Infrastructure Minister Vassyl Lozinsky was arrested for receiving a $400,000 bribe to facilitate the purchase of generators at inflated prices, as his country faces sweeping power cuts. #x27;electricity following Russian strikes on energy facilities.
Mr. Zelensky also asked his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron to refuse Russian athletes permission to participate in the Paris Olympics in 2024.
I particularly insisted about the fact that Russian athletes should not have their place at the Paris Olympics, Mr. Zelensky said on Telegram after a telephone interview with the French head of state.< /p>
In Russia, the authorities have finally given, for the first time since the start of hostilities 11 months ago, the toll of Russian civilian casualties in a border region with Russia. Ukraine. According to Moscow, 25 people were killed and nearly 100 others injured by Ukrainian fire in the Belgorod region.