Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine
Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister Andriy Melnyk has expressed his frustrations as Germany is yet to decide whether or not to send its Leopard tanks to Ukraine.
Speaking to CNN’s Isa Soares on Friday, Melnyk called Germany’s indecisiveness a “disappointment,” after first praising the UK for moving forward with a pledge of Challenger 2 tanks, adding he hoped the move might trigger other countries to follow suit.
The UK is the “first nation to deliver Challenger 2 main battle tanks and that might be a trigger, hopefully, for other countries but unfortunately not for Germany yet,” going on to describe Germany’s inaction as a “huge disappointment for all Ukrainians.”
Germany has so far failed to reach an agreement with its key Western allies on sending Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, despite growing pressure from NATO and Kyiv to step up its military aid ahead of a potential Russian spring offensive.
The new German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius told reporters on the sidelines of a high-stakes defense meeting at Ramstein Air Base in Germany on Friday that no decision has been made yet regarding sending Leopard tanks to Ukraine.
Melnyk, for his part, further expressed Ukraine’s disappointment with Germany’s announcement while holding out hope that Germany would weigh Ukraine’s concerns and could still decide to send the Leopard tanks.
“The government in Germany has not taken this important decision, not just to first allow other nations like Poland, Finland or Spain or Greece, which do have German battle tanks, to do the same, but also strengthen and create this, as we call it ‘Global Tanks Coalition’ to help Ukrainian forces to push out the Russians and to start the counteroffensive which will allow us to liberate the occupied territories,” he said.
“We are disappointed, but still the decision has not been taken yet so we hope that the government in Berlin it will take seriously all of the concerns they heard ( on Friday) in Ramstein,” Melnyk added.
“After 331 days of brutal war which Russia has been waging against Ukraine, they are still making an inventory of stocks, of (the) Bundeswehr (the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany) and in the industry, to check whether they have something to send to Ukraine! It is ridiculous.”