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  • Writer's pictureUnited Ukraine

International Press Review dated 23 - 27 January 2023

The transfer of tanks from world leaders is a key topic of this week. The leadership in this issue belongs to four countries: USA, Great Britain, Germany and France. Many aspects have been unlocked for the transfer of the most modern types of tanks to Ukraine.

Particularly long was the discussion with Germany. However, the decision to send Leopard tanks was made and many other leaders within the framework of Ramstein welcomed the Germany’s decision. In particular, the British Prime Minister noted that Germany made the right decision to transfer tanks to Ukraine.

It should also be noted that Olaf Scholz explained quite clearly why Germany took this path. It was obvious from his statement that it was very important for him to fulfil the undertaken commitments within the framework of the partnership with his allies. It is about financial, humanitarian and military-technical support. That is, Europe, the USA, and Great Britain are currently the biggest allies, and Germany wants to have the status of a responsible partner, taking into account, of course, the fundamental goal of German foreign policy: the protection of values in world politics, the values of the inviolability of borders, the values of democracy, etc. All this is of great importance for the positioning of Prime Minister Scholz.

Very good news was published by Le Monde that Israel can expand the possibilities of military-technical cooperation with Ukraine. This is a good news, considering the involvement of Iran in supporting the russian federation to carry out attacks on the territory of our state.

I believe that Mr. Johnson's visit to Kyiv is definitely the icing on the cake. However, there was another very important event. Mr. Johnson published a conceptual article in Mail Online, where he fully supported Ukraine, the Ukrainian people, the political leadership and all defence and security forces of Ukraine. The key message of his article is very simple: it is necessary to help Ukraine to win as soon as in 2023. And if the world wants to see fewer economic problems, wants to see a more stable world, then it should unite and provide Ukraine with everything it needs for its victory right now. A wonderful and powerful message that fully corresponds to the interests of Ukraine and confirms the insider information that was published after Mr. Johnson's meeting in Kyiv with President Zelensky. These two world-class political titans spoke specifically about the possibilities of expanding military support for Ukraine, and not just expansion thanks to expanding the range of products, but rather the acceleration of many technical processes so that Ukraine would receive everything necessary for victory as soon as possible. Mr. Johnson continues to be a faithful friend of Ukraine, and his influence is currently very powerful on the world stage.

The White House formally announced on Wednesday that it is sending 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, part of a coordinated move in which Germany and other European nations will also send their own tanks to the fight in time for a coming offensive.

The move quashes, for now, the germs of dissension within an alliance that formed last year to support Ukraine.

“Unity has been our greatest strength, and we’re seeing another example of that with today’s announcement,” a senior administration official said Wednesday.

Those heroic people are fighting for all of us. The Ukrainians are fighting for the Georgians, for the Moldovans, for the Baltic states, for the Poles – for anyone who might in due time be threatened by Putin's crazed revanchism and neo-imperialism. They are fighting for the principle that nations should not have their borders changed by force.

When Ukraine wins, that is a message that will be heard around the world. So let us help them win, not next year or the year after, but this year, 2023; and don't talk to me, finally, about expense.

If you want to minimise the world's economic pain, if you want to avoid the enormous cost – in blood and treasure – of letting this tragedy stretch on, then let's together do the obvious thing.

Let's give the Ukrainians all they need to win now.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Wednesday that Germany and other NATO allies' decision to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine was the "right decision".

"The right decision by NATO Allies and friends to send main battle tanks to Ukraine. Alongside Challenger 2s, they will strengthen Ukraine’s defensive firepower," Sunak said on Twitter.

"Together, we are accelerating our efforts to ensure Ukraine wins this war and secures a lasting peace."

France continues to assess the possibility of sending its heavy Leclerc tanks to Ukraine, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said on Wednesday, January 25.

The French tanks are comparable to the German-made Leopards, which Berlin agreed to send to Kyiv on Wednesday, but are available in smaller numbers and would pose different maintenance and logistical challenges, Borne told lawmakers.

"Regarding the Leclerc tanks, we are continuing our analysis with the armed forces ministry," Borne said. "The issue of assistance for Ukraine is not limited to this or that weapon."

After months of procrastination and tension, Israel is cautiously opening its arsenal in response to Kyiv's pressing demands. This comes precisely at a time when Benjamin Netanyahu's return to power allowed for a freeze, given that he is known for cultivating a personal relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Israel will provide our country with advanced technologies for detecting air threats. These are geographically much more accurate warning systems than those that Ukraine has today to warn the Ukrainian population in case of enemy missile and drone strikes," Yevhen Kornichuk, the Ukrainian ambassador to Israel, told Le Monde. "This technology is officially being transferred by the Israeli side. And I think that, in a certain period of time, we will receive it in its entirety," said the diplomat, who stressed that the Ukrainian request dates back several months.

After weeks of geopolitical squabbling, a major moment in the war in Ukraine has arrived: Germany has announced it will provide Leopard 2 tanks to Kyiv’s troops.

The announcement is likely to be matched by the US; Washington signaled it was finalizing plans to send approximately 30 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, according to two US officials familiar with the deliberations.

And the influx of Western tanks into the conflict has the potential to change the shape of the war. The shipments are a breakthrough in the West’s military support for Kyiv, signalling a bullish view around the world about Ukraine’s ability to reclaim occupied territory.

Crucially, they may allow Ukraine to take the fighting to Moscow’s forces and re-capture more occupied land, rather than focusing primarily on beating back Russian attacks.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz confirmed on Wednesday that Germany would be delivering an initial 14 Leopard 2 A6 tanks to Ukraine and allowing partner countries to re-export their own German-made heavy battle tanks to the country.

Speaking at the start of a question-and-answer session in the German Bundestag, Scholz said, "It is right that we act closely with our international partners to support Ukraine — financially, with humanitarian aid, but also with weapons deliveries. Now we can say that, in Europe, it is us and Britain who have made the most weapons available for Ukraine. … Germany will always be at the forefront when it comes to supporting Ukraine."

The chancellor insisted he was right in maintaining his cautious approach, taking the time to negotiate the details of battle tank deliveries rather than rushing ahead unilaterally. He reiterated the scope of German assistance, which would include tanks, logistics, ammunition, and maintenance, as well as training Ukrainian tank crews in Germany.

"With everything that we do, we must always make very clear that we will do what is necessary and possible to support Ukraine, but at the same time to prevent an escalation of the war to a war between Russia and NATO," Scholz added.

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