First Leopard tanks to be deployed in Ukraine soon - Dispatch Weekly

February 19, 2023 - Reading time: 2 minutes

​Chancellor Olaf Scholz says Germany will send its first Leopard tanks to Ukraine “very soon.

He warned allies to expect a long conflict at the Munich Security Conference days before the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion.

Macron also said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was not a time for talks.

Leaders, officials, and diplomats meet annually with a transatlantic theme.

US Vice-President Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Antony Blinken attended the conference with a huge congressional delegation and approximately 30 European heads of government.

Mr. Scholz said it was “smart to prepare for a lengthy conflict” and show Russian President Vladimir Putin that Germany and its allies would not give up on Ukraine at the meeting.

Ukrainian officials said they need more combat tanks to retake their territory from the Russians.

In January, Germany agreed to supply heavy Leopard tanks to Ukraine after months of pressure to send arms.

It also permitted other countries to transfer Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

Mr. Macron said the next few weeks would be important, adding that allies needed to “intensify our support” for Ukraine to launch a counter-offensive and approach negotiations with strength.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who addressed leaders via video link, encouraged allies to speed up weapons deliveries, saying victory over Moscow was the only option.

Russian officials weren’t invited.

The conference’s vast agenda — from China to climate change — will allow Ukraine’s friends to evaluate Russia’s assault almost a year later.

DW Staff

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