Berlin does not give in and Putin smiles. The new German defense minister Boris Pistorioannounced this Friday that his country continues to refuse to unblock shipment of heavy tanks to Kiev as Ukrainians desperately demand to confront Russian troops in the lowlands of Donbass and reclaim the land Russia occupied in the middle of last year after the invasion on February 24th.
the German position is the key. The vast majority of modern heavy tanks in serviceable condition in European arsenals are Leopard 2 German product. By contract, the owner countries must ask Berlin for permission to re-export them. There are approximately 2,000 operating units in a dozen countries. Berlin refuses.
The Germans said it first they wouldn’t be the only ones and that they would send them when someone else did. The British took them at their word and announced last week that they were shipping 14 Challenger 2s, the equivalent of the Leopard 2. For Germany, it was very limited movement to enter the picture.
So Berlin demanded that the United States He will send his best tanks, the Abrams.
Washington believes the Abrams it is not suitable at this time for Ukrainians because it needs more training, more maintenance and consumes more fuel.
Everyone points to the Leopard 2some beasts with shots with a range of 5 kilometers, they just need 4 men to manage and that they can move up to 70 kilometers per hour.
Summit in Ramstein
The German non-decision was announced this Friday at a summit of fifty countries who are helping Kiev with military means. They meet regularly at the Ramstein US military base in Germany.
It was expected from that meeting the German announcement came out. The pressure hadn’t stopped in recent days. The change of defense minister in Germany was even intended to make one person more likely to send the Leopard 2, but neither.
Some tank-owning countries, such as Poland, they begin to get fed up with the German blockade. The Poles leaked that if Germany hadn’t already agreed to send those tanks, or at least that the countries that have them in their arsenals send them, they would have violated the contract and he would have sent them to the Ukraine without German permission.
After the summit, the German minister acknowledged that “there was discussion, but no decision has been made”. He also stated that “the impression that it is Germany that opposes the delivery of tanks to Kiev is false”. German diplomacy is hiding behind the fact that if Washington does not send the Abrams It is not understood that they require to send the Leopard 2.
More announcements came out of the meeting. The United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Denmark explain it they will increase the shipment of heavy weaponsmainly long-range artillery.
Washington said this week it was unlocking another $2.5 billion and sending it 59 Armored Bradley and 90 Stryker armored personnel carriers.
United States too will send 53 MRAP (anti-mine armored vehicles) and 350 M998 transport vehicles, the famous Humvee in its military version. Washington has already spent on war, officially, $26.7 billion in military hardware alone.
The artillery that sends Sweden (Archer) it is one of the most modern of this type in NATO arsenals, but its range is limited to a few tens of kilometres, far from the medium-range missiles that Ukraine requests and which would allow it to attack Russian positions in the Crimea.
Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky said on Thursday: “We expect strong decisions.” You will have to do without heavy tanks.
Brussels, especially for clarion
Mark Jones is a world traveler and journalist for News Rebeat. With a curious mind and a love of adventure, Mark brings a unique perspective to the latest global events and provides in-depth and thought-provoking coverage of the world at large.