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  • Writer's pictureAnton Kuchuhidze

International Press Review dated 30 January — 3 February 2023

After a number of decisions on the supply of heavy weapons have been made recently, Ukraine remains one of the top topics in the Western media. Many Western publications say that the agreement between the USA and Germany on the supply of tanks is a critically important step to help Ukraine regain its lost positions. For example, the editorial by Bloomberg emphasizes that the supply of heavy equipment to Ukraine falls on a turning point in the war, because putin is likely to plan an offensive in spring. That is why the presence of powerful Western tanks will be extremely necessary to hold and defend positions.

This week, Boris Johnson was traditionally active on Ukrainian issues, who repeatedly spoke with high-ranking US officials and called on the United States to increase support for Ukraine in its fight against russian aggression, and also addressed Western leaders and the British establishment directly about the need to supply fighter jets to Ukraine.

In his article for The Washington Post Boris Johnson noted that with a full-scale invasion putin opened the way for Ukraine to NATO membership. In this article, Mr. Johnson drew attention to a very important point that European leaders have openly provided signals to Moscow that Ukraine will never join the Alliance for many years, because many NATO members will simply veto such decision. This policy and the soft position of the West led to the largest war in Europe for the last 80 years. Currently, for the sake of stability and peace, Ukraine needs clarity about its position in the Euro-Atlantic security system. Mr. Johnson once again emphasizes that the Ukrainians must be given everything they need to end this war as soon as possible and start the process of Ukraine's accession to NATO right away.

The first official visit of Defence Minister of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov to France was one of the highlights of this week. Based on the results of this visit, Le Monde reported that the French Defence Ministry once again noted the long-term support of Ukraine and the new supply of Caesar howitzers and the training of Ukrainian soldiers.

In general, the trend supporting Ukraine by Western partners continues, and as a result, specific positive political decisions are adopted.

Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with Republican lawmakers on Tuesday, pressing the United States to sustain aid to Ukraine to help it fight off Russia's assault.

Johnson spoke with U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy, the top Republican, in his office and is scheduled to speak at a private Republican club in the evening, said Representative Joe Wilson, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

On Wednesday, Johnson will discuss the need for "Western unity and support for Ukraine and what more can be done against the threat Russia poses" at the Atlantic Council think tank.

Boris Johnson has piled pressure on western leaders to supply fighter jets to Ukraine.

The UK said it is not practical to provide sophisticated planes used by the RAF, such as Typhoons and F-35s, while US President Joe Biden has ruled out sending F-16 fighters.

But former prime minister Mr Johnson, who was in Washington for talks with senior politicians to bolster support for Ukraine, said its President Volodymyr Zelensky should be given all the equipment he needs.

The delivery of heavy armor to Ukraine comes at a pivotal time. After suffering heavy losses last fall, Russia has made modest gains in the south and east. Intelligence officials think that Putin is planning a spring offensive, waged by a reconstituted force of recent conscripts, former prisoners and private mercenaries. With Ukraine’s casualties mounting and its supplies of weapons and munitions running low, the influx of powerful Western tanks will be essential to holding ground and defending against the expected onslaught.

To take back its lost territory, Ukraine may require even more armor and sophisticated weaponry — including not just additional tanks but combat jets and long-range missiles that could strike Russian supply lines, bases and command posts.

Paris took advantage of the first official French visit by Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov to announce, on Tuesday, January 31, the implementation of several measures aimed at providing Ukraine with new military equipment ongoing. "We want our aid to be long-term," a source at the French Defense Ministry confirmed recently.

During a press conference with his Ukrainian counterpart, French Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu announced that Kyiv should soon receive 12 new Caesar guns.

Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened him with a missile strike during a phone call in the run up to the invasion of Ukraine, a charge denied by Moscow.

Johnson, speaking to the BBC for a documentary, said the Russian leader had asked him about the prospects of Ukraine joining NATO, to which he had responded it would not be "for the foreseeable future".

Putin didn’t invade because he thought that Ukraine was going to join NATO. He always knew that was vanishingly unlikely. He attacked Ukraine because he believed — with abundant evidence — that we were not really serious about protecting Ukraine. He attacked because he wanted to rebuild the old Soviet imperium and because he believed — foolishly — that he was going to win.

If we had been brave and consistent enough to bring Ukraine into NATO — if we had actually meant what we said — then this utter catastrophe would have been averted.

For the sake of stability and peace, Ukraine now needs clarity about its position in the Euro-Atlantic security architecture. All our dodging and weaving has ended in slaughter.

Ukrainians should be given everything they need to finish this war, as quickly as possible, and we should begin the process of admitting Ukraine to NATO, and begin it now.

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