Ukrainian officials renewed their calls for United State And Germany to provide them with combat aircraft in their ongoing battle with Russia, after the two Western allies changed their decision on supplying tanks.
The United States and Germany previously said they would not send the armored fighting vehicles but retracted the decision after further negotiation, eventually agreeing to send more than 30 M1 Abrams tanks and 14 Leopard 2 tanks, respectively.
Ukraine’s top presidential aide said on Saturday that Ukrainian officials are now holding “fast-track” talks on long-range missiles and military aircraft.
Mykhailo Podolyak, Consultant Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s supporters in the West said they “understand how the war is developing” and the need for aircraft capable of providing cover for the tanks they have pledged to send.
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Podolyak said that some of Ukraine’s Western partners maintain a “conservative” position on sending advanced weapons “due to fear of changes in the international structure.”
“We need to work with this. We must show (our partners) the true picture of this war,” Podolyak said in remarks to the online video channel Freedom. “We should speak sensibly and say to them, for example, ‘This and this will reduce fatalities, this will reduce the burden on the infrastructure.'” This will reduce security threats to the European continent, and this will keep the war local.
Podolak did not specify any partner countries.
Russia, which received its weapons and supplies from China, North Korea and Iran, The West was accused of supplying Kyiv with increasingly sophisticated weapons. Russian officials say that supplying weapons to Ukraine constitutes “direct participation”.
Germany and the United States announced on Wednesday that they would send advanced battle tanks, along with Bradley and Marder vehicles, to Ukraine and train Ukrainian forces to use them in a bid to help Kyiv achieve battlefield breakthroughs.
The decision was met with groans and criticism from the Kremlin, which continues to criticize Western interference.
Russian-Ukrainian War: Germany agrees to send 2 Leopard 2 tankers after heavy pressure
German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said Ukrainian forces will learn how to operate German-made Leopard 2 tanks at a training site in Germany by the end of the month.
Ukrainian Ministry of Defense on Twitter on Wednesday to celebrate the start of training.
Zelensky also thanked the United States for the military assistance.
Thank you @POTUS for another solid decision to introduce Abrams to [Ukraine]. grateful for [the U.S.] People to support the leadership! “Wednesday Books.” It is an important step on the road to victory. Today the free world is uniting as never before for a common goal – liberation [Ukraine]. “
“We are moving forward,” he added.
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In another tweet, he wrote: “German main battle tanks, expanding defensive support and training missions, and a green light for partners to supply them with similar weapons. Just heard about these important and timely decisions on a call with [German chancellor] Olaf Schulz. Sincerely grateful.”
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The Russian-Ukrainian invasion will reach one year in the next month.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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