Mhe international – but especially in the Ukraine – is looking forward to a meeting of the Western Allies in Ramstein, Rhineland-Palatinate, this Friday. The focus is on the question of whether Germany agrees to the delivery of battle tanks there. The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy once again made an urgent appeal to the German government to finally support his country, which had been attacked by Russia almost eleven months ago, with the modern Leopard tanks.
The new Federal Defense Minister Boris Pistorius meanwhile, stayed on the rather cautious line before the meeting. From the USA it was said that the delivery of American Abrams main battle tanks is currently not sensible – but Germany is making a “sovereign decision”. On Thursday evening, the US Department of Defense in Washington (local time) announced extensive arms deliveries of up to 2.5 billion US dollars – but no Abrams.
Zelenskyj: “Can you deliver leopards? Then give them here!“
In an ARD interview broadcast on Thursday evening, Selenskyj sharply criticized Germany’s hesitant attitude when it came to possible deliveries of main battle tanks. “You’re grown people. You can talk like that for six months, but people are dying here – every day.” Then he added: “In plain English: Can you deliver leopards or not? Then give them here!“
“It’s not like we attack if someone is worried,” said Zelenskyj. “These leopards will not drive through Russia. We are defending ourselves.” At the same time, with regard to military aid that has already been provided, he emphasized: “We are grateful. I want everyone to hear this: we are grateful to Germany.”
CIA director arrived in Kyiv
Meanwhile, according to a Washington Post report, CIA director William Burns met with Zelenskyy in Kyiv. The newspaper reported this on Thursday, citing US officials and unspecified informed circles. During the conversation at the end of last week, the head of the US foreign intelligence service informed the Ukrainian head of state about the military operations planned by Russia in the Ukraine informed in the coming weeks.
“Director Burns visited Kyiv, where he met with Ukrainian intelligence officials and President Zelenskyy, and reiterated our continued support for Ukraine in its defense against Russian aggression,” an unnamed US official was quoted as saying. burns had already warned in January of the previous year of a Russian attack on Kiev airport right at the beginning of the invasion. According to the newspaper, this warning thwarted an important part of the Russian operation against Kyiv.
US pledges more billions in military aid to Ukraine
The US government announced shortly before the meeting in Ramstein more billions in military aid for Ukraine. The Pentagon published a list of extensive arms deliveries on Thursday evening (local time). The package contains, among other things, 59 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles and, for the first time, 90 Stryker wheeled infantry fighting vehicles – but no Abrams main battle tanks. It is the second largest single package of its kind to date.