Home news “German tanks or not? Now that Ukraine is getting offensive weapons for the first time, the war is entering a new phase anyway”

“German tanks or not? Now that Ukraine is getting offensive weapons for the first time, the war is entering a new phase anyway”

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Volodymyr Zelensky insists and Olaf Scholz doubts. Will Ukraine quickly get the German tanks it needs?

At the US airbase in Ramstein, Germany, no less than 54 countries discussed support for Ukraine last week. Together they pledged hundreds of millions of euros worth of military equipment for Kyiv and yet the meeting ended in a fizzle. After months of strong pressure, Germany has still not given the green light to supply Ukraine with its powerful Leopard 2 tanks. Thirteen European countries have 2,000 of them in their garages, but they cannot be exported without the German authorization. Chancellor Olaf Scholz said neither yes nor no. His new defense minister, Boris Pistorius, said a decision would be made as soon as possible.

But it’s not that the Ukrainians went home empty-handed. British tanks, armored vehicles of different countries, howitzers and so on fell into the basket. Nevertheless, President Volodymyr Zelensky feels he particularly needs these German leopards for his spring offensive. Or to prevent a Russian offensive, which is also being prepared. He estimates that it would take three hundred to break through the Russian lines. The problem is that when the decision is made, these tanks are not immediately at the front. The producer Rheinmetall even fears that it will no longer work this year. Which explains why the pressure on Scholz is so great.

There is little justification for skeptical Germany to make a bad diplomatic impression now. We forget that even without these tanks, Berlin is the second sponsor of Ukraine after the United States. They also prefer to gradually increase support for kyiv so as not to throw too much oil on the fire at once and avoid panic in Moscow directly implicating NATO in the war. Now that Ukraine is getting assault weapons for the first time after Ramstein, the war is entering a new phase anyway.

In Western capitals, there may be premature calls to create a special tribunal for the Russian aggressor. US Chief of Staff Mark Milley thinks we should be happy if Ukraine can fend off the Russians far enough this year to give diplomacy a chance. The question is whether the West will remain united if kyiv strives to also retake Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014. The small cracks in the Allied front that became visible at Ramstein will then almost certainly become fractures whole. ●

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