NATO Urged to Expedite the Supply of Heavy Weapons to Ukraine

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The Kremlin needs to be made clear that it will not win the war with Ukraine, Jens Stoltenberg said after a meeting with the German Defense Minister. Berlin promised to complete the inventory of Leopard 2 tanks soon. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, after meeting with German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius on Tuesday, January 24, emphasized the need to speed up the provision of “heavier and more advanced systems (of weapons – Ed.) to Kyiv in this crucial moment of Russia’s war” against Ukraine. “The only way to a lasting peace is to make it clear to Putin that he will not win on the battlefield,” the North Atlantic Alliance chief stressed. Stoltenberg, who discussed, among other things, arms supplies with the head of the German Defense Ministry, expressed confidence that a decision on German Leopard battle tanks for Ukraine would be made soon. For his part, Pistorius pointed out that there was “no rift” on this issue in NATO. Berlin stressed that the allies might start training Ukrainian troops in the use of Leopard combat tanks, AFP news agency reported. German Minister of Defense on Leopard 2 tanks The results of the inventory of Leopard 2 tanks will be ready soon, the German Defense Minister said on January 24 on the program Morgenmagazin of the public broadcaster ZDF. This procedure is a precondition, he added. “If the answer (about the availability of combat vehicles for delivery to other countries. – Ed.) proves positive, which could happen in the next few days, then we can act quickly, conduct training and then move” the weapons accordingly, Pistorius explained. As the producing country of the Leopard 1 and 2 tanks, Germany has a special responsibility, the defense minister emphasized. The decision (to transfer these tanks to Ukraine or to approve their delivery to Kyiv from the arsenals of other states) is in the power of the Ukrainian government. – Ed.) is within the authority of the Federal Chancellor’s Office, Pistorius noted. The head of the German government, Olaf Scholz, has been repeatedly criticized, including by his colleagues in the ruling coalition, for his indecisiveness in supplying these military vehicles to Ukraine. Official Berlin explains its position by weighing the threat of an escalation of Russia’s war against Ukraine and the need for international coordination of military assistance to Kyiv.