The NATO Contact Group for Ukraine meets this Friday at the Ramstein airbase, Germanywith a key issue on the agenda: the shipment of Leopard tanks, as kyiv has been demanding for weeks.
The meeting is attended by the defense ministers of Ukraine’s western allies, as well as the Ukrainian minister himself, Oleksii Reznikov.
This past Thursday, the ukrainian government issued a statement in which it once again called for the urgent supply of weapons, including the Leopard, made in Germany. Armored cars, like artillery, could allow Ukraine to launch an offensive in the spring.
Several EU and NATO countries, such as Poland, are willing to send the Leopard they have in their arsenals, but Germany refuses to give the necessary authorization. Berlin has stated that the decision must be taken “in coordination” with the allies.
A number of countries, including Spain, have different models of Leopard cars.
US announces more aid ahead of meeting
One day before the meeting in Ramstein, the US Department of Defense has announced a new military aid package for Ukraine worth up to 2.5 billion dollars. Additionally, this new aid includes 59 Bradley Fighting Vehicles and 90 Stryker Armored Personnel Carriers.
The Ukrainian president, Volodímir Zelenski, has thanked the sending of this aid and Washington’s commitment to the defense of his country.
However, the US refuses for now to send Abrams tanks. Several media have leaked that Germany would be willing to send the Leopards if the US does the same with the Abrams. But the Pentagon has rejected this idea, arguing that the Abrams need jet fuel, which Ukraine lacks.
On the other hand, it has been known that the Director of the United States National Intelligence Agency (INC), William BurnsI know met last week secretly with Zelensky to transmit his forecasts about Russia’s plans, as reported The Washington Post. According to the outlet, Burns stressed that is at a key moment on the battlefield and he admitted that there will come a time when it will be more difficult to obtain funds.