The agreement reached in Brussels on the new tranche of military aid to Kiev only partially obscured the divisions between national governments over the delivery of tanks to Ukraine. At today’s meeting of foreign ministers, consensus was reached on the seventh package of 500m euros to support the Ukrainian army. Germany, however, maintained its position on sending tanks to Kiev: whoever wants to send tanks is free to do so. But Berlin will not send its tanks, at least for now.
It is a direction that has disappointed and disturbed the most determined European partners in sending heavy vehicle supplies to the Ukrainian army. Blaming Berlin for not adopting a “more dynamic and determined response” to Kiev’s demands, which have been insistent for weeks, the Polish government said: “We will certainly send the tanks, whatever the preferences of other countries.” On the need to have more weapons to counter the Russian invasion. “At this point, I don’t think there are good reasons to justify the inability to send tanks or air defense systems to Ukraine,” said Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics. “To restore peace in Europe, we must now provide everything Ukraine needs, including tanks,” added the minister of the Baltic country, which has been at the forefront of military support to Kiev, along with Poland, since the beginning of the war.
Among the rulers who took a firm stand against Putin is the Finnish, who guaranteed his support for the sending of heavy armored vehicles. Helsinki foreign minister Pekka Haavisto said: “We have some Leopard tanks and we said we would be part of that effort whatever it means: pilot training, spare parts supply, and maybe even a few tanks.” .
On the other hand, Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said that the largest European countries, especially Italy, “which is not part of the discussion of sending tanks to Ukraine”, are acting more cautiously. “If we want to help Ukraine,” commented the French minister, Catherine Colonna – we shouldn’t just talk about tanks” because “Kiev’s needs today are mainly anti-aircraft defence, ammunition and maintenance of the vehicles we deliver. “Finally, Germany has continued its express line in recent days. EU diplomacy head Josep Borrell said at the end of the meeting, “German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told the Council that Germany does not prevent the shipment of Leopard tanks by other states.”
Therefore, the EU High Representative for Foreign Policy expressed his satisfaction with the decision that increased the entire value of the European Peace Facility, namely the EU’s military financing instrument in Kiev, to a total of 3.6 billion euros. Money that, when added to other economic and humanitarian aid, brings all European support to almost 50 billion euros. “The EU takes the lead in supporting Ukraine,” Borrell said proudly. But the tanks Volodymyr Zelensky hopes to see from Germany will remain in the garages of the German army, at least for now.
Source: Today IT
Karen Clayton is a seasoned journalist and author at The Nation Update, with a focus on world news and current events. She has a background in international relations, which gives her a deep understanding of the political, economic and social factors that shape the global landscape. She writes about a wide range of topics, including conflicts, political upheavals, and economic trends, as well as humanitarian crisis and human rights issues.