Russia and Ukraine: the United States and European countries pledge to supply Kyiv with heavy weapons

Russia and Ukraine: the United States and European countries pledge to supply Kyiv with heavy weapons



Several countries, including the United States, responded to the call of the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, in order to supply Kyiv with more weapons.


The United States talked about sending a package worth 2.5 billion dollars, which includes armored vehicles and air defense systems.


Several European countries have also pledged to send their own packages, including the UK, which has pledged to supply Ukraine with hundreds of missiles.


The pledges come ahead of a crisis meeting in Germany on Friday, where 50 countries are due to coordinate arms supplies.


Thursday's meeting saw representatives from 11 countries meet at a military base in Estonia to discuss a range of new packages to help Ukraine regain its territory and stop any further Russian advances.


Nine countries-the UK, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Estonia, the Netherlands, and Slovakia-pledged further support.


A joint statement detailed the following packages:


  • United Kingdom-600 missiles "brimstone".
  • Denmark-19 French-made self-propelled guns "Cesar".
  • Estonia-howitzers, ammunition, support vehicles, anti-tank grenade launchers.
  • Latvia air defense systems "stinger", two helicopters, and drones.
  • Lithuania-anti-aircraft guns and two helicopters.
  • Poland - "s-60" anti-aircraft guns and 70 thousand pieces of ammunition.
  • The Czech Republic further produced high-caliber ammunition, howitzers, and armored personnel carriers.
  • The Netherlands will announce the support package on Friday.

 

Zelensky criticizes Germany's reluctance to send tanks, vows to take back Crimea


Speaking during a visit to Estonia, British Defense Minister Ben Wallace said: "in 2023, it's time to turn the momentum achieved by the Ukrainians in countering Russia into gains... He pushed them (the Russians) to get out of Ukraine, to restore Ukrainian sovereignty, which is their right under international law," he said.


The new US support plan was announced on Thursday, but despite Ukrainian hopes, it did not include the provision of Tanks.


However, the US Department of Defense promised Kyiv an additional 59 armored vehicles "Bradley", 90 personnel carriers "striker" and air defense systems "Avenger", as well as other large and small ammunition.


She said the recent air strikes showed the "devastating impact of Russia's brutal war in Ukraine," but added that the recently pledged weapons would help repel such attacks.


A statement said that the United States has so far committed more than 26.7 billion dollars in security assistance to Ukraine since Moscow's mass invasion on February 24, 2022.


The meeting of the Ukrainian Defense group, made up of key allies including the United States, will be held at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany on Friday to discuss further military support.


Zelensky said he expected "strong decisions" on further arms exports to be made at that meeting, including a "strong military support package" from the United States.


It is expected that the talks will focus on the issue of sending heavy tanks, and it is important who will provide them. Despite the new multibillion-dollar arms packages pledged by Western allies on Thursday, this question remains unanswered.


Ukraine is asking to send German-made "Leopard" tanks to the battlefield.


German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is under increasing international and domestic pressure to provide Ukraine with them, or at least agree to their delivery by other countries.


Poland and Finland have pledged to send "Leopard" tanks, but they need the permission of Germany, as the manufacturing country, to take that step.


Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki said he was "somewhat pessimistic" about Germany granting permission to re-export the leopard to Ukraine.


Zelensky had spoken about Germany's reluctance, and said on Thursday evening: "now we are waiting for a decision from one of the European capitals to activate the chains of cooperation prepared on tanks".


A government source in Berlin told Reuters news agency that he had not yet received a request from any country to allow the re-export of his country's Leopard tanks.


The UK was the first country to provide tanks to Ukraine when it promised to send 14 British "Challenger 2" tanks.

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