Allies of Ukraine are set to meet Friday to coordinate assisting the war-torn Eastern European country with more arms in its defense against Russia.
The meeting comes just one day after the Kremlin warned NATO that supplying heavy and long-range weapons to Ukraine would escalate the war to a “whole new level.”
RUSSIA PREPARING MAJOR NEW OFFENSIVE IN COMING MONTHS: REPORT
The U.S. announced Thursday a major military aid package to Ukraine valued at up to $2.5 billion. But Friday’s meeting underscores the urgency with which Ukraine is pleading with all of its allies to step up their efforts in sending military aid, principally tanks.
The United Kingdom has recently offered 14 of its battle tanks, but Kyiv wants more, per BBC News, and Germany, fresh off the appointment of a new defense minister, faces increased pressure to deliver its respected Leopard tanks to Ukraine.
NATO allies have been critical of Germany for its reluctance to send the German-made main battle tanks. Berlin has even blocked other countries from sending the Leopold tanks, saying it would be inappropriate for German tanks to arrive on the battlefield if other Western countries have not agreed to take the same step.
With other countries having shattered that excuse, discussions Friday are sure to be focused on what Germany plans to do next. As one adviser to the Ukraine Ministry of Defence told BBC, “Tanks for Ukraine are tanks for freedom,” and if they’re not sent, other countries might one day “have to use them themselves” against Moscow.
G3 Box News
More than 50 countries are expected to meet at the U.S. Ramstein Air Base in the southwest of Germany Friday, including the U.S. and
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley.
The Biden administration has provided Ukraine with more than $26.7 billion in military assistance since the beginning of Russia’s war.