Western allies have failed to commit to sending more battle tanks to Ukraine after officials met to dicuss the situation in Germany. Representatives from NATO-allied countries met at the US airbase in Ramstein, Germany did not follow the UK’s decision earlier this week.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had pleaded with leader to send the tanks to help his country in the fight against Russia. He urged assembled defence ministers to agree in “principle” to supply his forces with modern battle tanks, but his pleas have gone unanswered.
Germany was among those under pressure to send tanks, with requests for their Leopard 2 tanks but the cuntry failed to commit to sending these to Ukraine. Speaking to the allied nations in Germany, Mr Zelensky said: “Hundreds of thank yous are not hundreds of tanks.”
US defence secretary Lloyd Austin said: “I don’t have any announcements to make on M1s (US Abrams tanks), and you heard the German minister of defence say that they’ve not made a decision on Leopards.” He added that countries were “pushing hard to meet Ukraine’s requirements for tanks and other armoured vehicles.”
However, German defence minister Boris Pistorius did not close the door on the possibility. He said Berlin “will make our decisions as soon as possible”.
UK tries to convice allies
Defence secretary Ben Wallace was in attendance for alks, days after the UK said that it would send 14 Challenger 2 battle tanks. He attempted to sway NATO allies into doing the same, saying in a statement: “The UK is leading international support for Ukraine by becoming the first nation to donate modern, Western main battle tanks.
“It is crucial that we build on this momentum supported by our international partners, who are determined like us, to ensure that Putin’s illegal and unprovoked invasion fails.”
The 14 tanks is a shortfall on the 300 Ukraine are seeking to continue its fight against Russia. Poland has already offered to send a number of tanks, however they require sign off from Berlin for this to be finalised.
Germany has remained tight-lipped over its intention to send tanks. Chancellor Olaf Sholz is said to be concern about the reaction from Moscow if the high number of tanks were to be sent to the frontlines in Ukraine.