1676686447 In the face of delays Scholz calls on his allies

In the face of delays, Scholz calls on his allies to deliver tanks

In the face of delays Scholz calls on his allies

Claimed by Kiev for weeks, supplies of German Leopard tanks are slipping and looking less ambitious than expected, to the point that Berlin has called its allies to order.

After the green light was given from all sides for the dispatch of this gem of German armor, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz arrived on Friday to bang his fist on the table during the Munich Security Conference.

Military aid to Ukraine “means that anyone who can deliver such battle tanks will do it,” he said during this major gathering that brings together leaders and experts every year.

Mr. Scholz, criticized by Germany’s allies before giving his approval at the end of January, assures that he will “work actively” on this dossier in informal meetings and bilateral talks on the sidelines of the conference.

“From a political message perspective, it makes sense to remind those who have promised to act to join Action on the Word,” Camille Grand of the European Council for Foreign Relations told AFP.

Especially since the Russian troops in eastern Ukraine are still nibbling on the ground.

The head of Russia’s paramilitary organization Wagner said Friday his men had taken Paraskoviïvka, a Ukrainian town bordering Bakhmout to the north that the Russians have been trying to capture for more than six months.

However, AFP was unable to verify the validity of these statements from an independent source.

On Monday, the Wagner group announced that they had captured Krasna Hora, a town bordering Paraskoviïvka.

– dripper –

The 14 tanks from Bundeswehr equipment promised by the federal government are expected in Ukraine at the end of March. Ukrainian soldiers are currently being trained in northern Germany how to use it.

During this time, the other countries show their commitment in droplets and droplets. Federal Defense Minister Boris Pistorius on Friday criticized those who were “slower” than Germany.

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A message that Volodymyr Zelenskyy also delivered. Ukraine’s president, in a video intervention to open the conference, urged allies to “speed up” their military support.

Jointly produced by German companies Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Rheinmetall, these tanks, which some experts say will have a decisive impact on the battlefield, are awaited by the Ukrainian armed forces, which fear a huge Russian offensive in the next few weeks.

“Ukraine probably still has a window to launch full-scale counteroffensives… but its ability to do so depends heavily on the speed and scale with which the West deploys the necessary equipment,” the American Institute for War Studies (ISW) said. .

At the end of January, Berlin agreed to make around 30 Leopard 2 main battle tanks available to Ukraine together with other countries.

Germany had to agree on Wednesday that the final delivery would be “half a battalion,” or about fifteen of these armored vehicles.

“To be clear: we haven’t reached a battalion, it will be half a battalion,” Mr. Pistorius admitted after a meeting in Brussels.

The German minister specified that his country could deliver “14 Leopard 2 A6s from Germany plus three” deliveries announced by Portugal “in the last week of March”.

– “Give them!” –

Poland, particularly keen on Germany before Mr. Scholz’s go-ahead, had announced the delivery of 14 Leopard 2A4s, an older model. But President Andrzej Duda, who traveled to Brussels this week, gave no indication of the date of delivery of these armored vehicles.

Canada has pledged four Leopard 24As, one of which shipped in early February, while Finland and Sweden have said they want to contribute to the effort.

Norway is donating eight Leopard 2s to Ukraine along with ammunition, spare parts and up to four support vehicles.

According to government sources, Spain plans to send four to six Leopard 2A4s to Ukraine. But these tanks, which have not been in service for more than ten years, need to be repaired.

The delivery of 14 Leopard 2 by the Netherlands was mentioned, but the tanks will be mobilized for the German-Dutch brigade, the German minister explained.

Ukraine should be able to count on at least a hundred Leopard 1 A5 tanks in the coming months. However, these tanks, supplied by Berlin, The Hague and Copenhagen, are much older.

This situation prompted the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, to react on Wednesday. “I call on all European countries where modern tanks are gathering dust in the barracks: give them to Ukraine! And turn them in as soon as possible,” he said.

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