Britain’s defense minister has revealed that the country that operates the German-made Leopard tank has sought permission from Berlin to supply heavy weapons to Ukraine.
Ben Wallace He did not say which nation he was referring to, but it is likely to be Poland, which has made it clear that it would like to send some of its Leopard 2 main battle tanks to help fight against Ukrainian forces. could Russia.
Olaf Scholz’s government is under increasing pressure to allow the Leopard, one of the world’s deadliest and most advanced tanks, to become part of a new wave of increasingly powerful military aid. Cafe Before many believe there will be a new escalation in the war.
Mr Wallace told Sky News after the talks, “I understand there has been a formal request today from a country – I don’t know the details of who or what – and obviously It is the process that needs to be worked on.” 10 other allies at a military base in Estonia.
Asked if he thought Germany should say yes, Mr Wallace said: “I want as many tanks as possible to support Ukraine’s efforts for 2023.
“There’s no secret about it… if we have to send a message to the Kremlin that we’re not giving up, that we’re doubling down, then tanks are part of that.”
Lithuania’s defense minister, who was also present at the gathering, went a step further, telling Reuters news agency that at a key meeting at a US air base in Germany on Friday, several countries agreed to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine. Will declare his intention.
“Some countries will definitely send Leopard tanks to Ukraine, that’s for sure,” Arvidas Anousaskas said of the pledges.
Britain this week became the first country to say so Send western tanks to Ukraine.a historic moment and an important step in support.
‘Schools can’t decide’
Britain is sending only 14 of its Challenger 2 tanks, enough to equip a squadron but not enough to have any significant impact on the direction of the war.
The hope was to encourage Germany to follow suit, but Mr Schulz has not yet confirmed his willingness to do so.
A senior European source told Sky News that the German armed forces understood the importance of tanks in the fight in Ukraine, suggesting that the standoff appeared to be political.
“The German military … understands that you can’t say win Ukraine but not send tanks … but Schulz can’t decide,” the source said.
Mr Wallace said he agreed that the toughest battle in Ukraine was yet to come.
“If last year was about defense and the Russian military’s assertiveness this year is about showing that Ukraine can push Russia back significantly and beyond what it already has,” he said. has been pushed.”
The defense minister spoke to British soldiers stationed at the Tapa military base in Estonia with a contingent of Challenger 2 tanks as part of a NATO mission to deter Russian aggression towards the military alliance.
In service since 1994, the Challenger 2 tank weighs 62.5 tonnes and is armed with a 120mm rifled gun and a 7.62mm chain gun.
The Challenger 2 was previously deployed in Bosnia and during the 2003 Iraq War.
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