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  • Writer's pictureAnton Kuchuhidze

International Press Review dated 6 - 10 February 2023

This week is very remarkable for the Ukrainian issue, because after the unannounced visit of President Zelenskiy to Great Britain, as well as subsequent visits to Paris and Brussels, a significant increase in support to our country and its defence capabilities is expected.

The British establishment took responsibly President Zelenskiy's speech in the Parliament and the appeal to strengthen our positions and fight together against evil. There are expectations that the appeal for sending aircraft will work and, as with tanks, other European countries will join the process.

Negotiations with UK Prime Minister Sunak were detailed and fruitful. There are important results, especially defensive results. Some media started to report that Great Britain is considering the issue of providing aircraft to Ukraine. For example, The Wall Street Journal notes that Great Britain considers the possibility of sending modern jet fighters to Ukraine, and will start training Ukrainian pilots in the coming months, which is a big victory for President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

In addition to that, the article already provides data that Great Britain is going to put about 20 Eurofighter Typhoon fighters out of service, but their transfer to Ukraine will require the approval of other European countries that participated in the development of the aircraft. In addition to that, according to The Wall Street Journal, the statement is partly intended to encourage other countries to follow the lead.

Bloomberg writes about Biden's statements regarding Ukraine. The President of the United States noted this week that president putin's invasion of Ukraine was a "Test of the ages". He called it a test for America, a test for the world, a test for NATO and again promised to support President Zelenskiy as long as it takes. That is, there is a clear understanding that this is not only Ukraine's war and that Ukraine is protecting the entire civilized world from the russian invasion.

Bloomberg also published an interesting article in which the head of Estonia's intelligence service expressed confidence that russia will not be able to break Ukraine and the fate of this confrontation will be decided on the battlefield. Ukraine must win this war, because if russia wins, the cost of a blow to the security of the West will be much greater than the financial contribution that is made now. This once again confirms the thesis that the security of the West depends on Ukraine's victory on the battlefield.

Positive news also included the fact that according to Bloomberg, the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany are going to purchase 100 Leopard-1A5 battle tanks for Ukraine. The Dutch Ministry of Defence said the tanks would be purchased "directly from German industry".

The statement by the Prime Minister of Norway on providing 7.3 billion dollars of aid to Ukraine in the next five years is the pinnacle of positive news. This is an unprecedented and the largest aid program that Norway has ever adopted. This program should primarily finance military needs, with the rest going to humanitarian aid.

As you can see, the week turned out to be fruitful and full of good news for Ukraine. In the near future, we expect the strengthening of defence and political ties with our Western allies and even more decisions regarding the supply of weapons to Ukraine in order to successfully deter the enemy, repulse the probable offensive of the ruscists and return of all territories.

Europe will tighten sanctions against Russia once again near the anniversary of the start of its invasion of Ukraine as a signal to Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Wednesday ahead of a special EU summit.

"Putin will not achieve his goals - not on the battlefield and not through a dictated peace," Scholz told the Bundestag (lower house of parliament). He said the EU would back Ukraine as long as needed in the war that began on Feb. 24 last year.

The Netherlands, Denmark and Germany are buying 100 Leopard-1A5 battle tanks for Ukraine, the Dutch government said on Tuesday.

The Dutch defense ministry said in a statement the tanks would be purchased "directly from German industry".

In an interview on Dutch national broadcaster NOS, Netherlands Defense Minister Kasja Ollongen said the tanks, a slightly older model, are "definitely still useable" for fighting in Ukraine.

"It's a tested tank, and because they're being tuned up and made ready for fighting, they will definitely be useful for the Ukrainians," she said.

Norway's prime minister proposed on Monday that his country, a major petroleum exporter, should provide some 75 billion crowns ($7.3 billion) in aid to Ukraine over five years.

In 2023, half the assistance would fund military needs while the rest would cover humanitarian aid, although this split could change in coming years, he said.

"This is the largest aid programme Norway has ever had," Stoere told Reuters, adding that the money would be distributed according to the Ukrainian government's priorities and not necessarily transferred directly to the authorities.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called the five-year package "unprecedented."

With the war in Ukraine raging on, and the recent incursion of a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon looming heavily over his administration in the days leading up to his speech, Mr. Biden choose to focus broadly on disruptions to world order by mentioning Mr. Putin specifically, and China broadly, portraying Beijing as both a national and economic security challenge .

Still, Mr. Biden said Tuesday that U.S. commitment to Ukraine was unwavering. Speaking to the Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S. in the audience, Mr. Biden vowed: “We’ll stand with you as long as it takes.”

To date, the U.S. has provided nearly $30 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion on Feb. 24.

The U.K. is considering sending advanced jets to Ukraine and will begin training Ukrainian pilots in coming months, a major victory for President Volodymyr Zelensky, who made a surprise visit to European allies on Wednesday to lobby Western governments to provide more air power to counter a growing Russian offensive.

The announcement is partly aimed at jolting other countries to follow the U.K.’s lead as the war in Ukraine reaches a critical juncture, officials say. The U.K. has been one of Ukraine’s most hawkish allies and has been at the forefront of a number of issues; it was the first to pledge modern battle tanks, a move followed by other allies in subsequent weeks. Last year, it was the first European nation to equip the Ukrainian army with antitank missiles.

If the U.K. goes ahead, it would be the first country to pledge to provide advanced western jet fighters to Ukraine. Western governments have previously been nervous about providing jets, warning such a move could be escalatory as they could be used to hit targets inside Russia. The U.S. has ruled out sending F-16 jets.

Estonia’s spy chief predicted a grinding conflict in Ukraine, with the war to be decided “on the battlefield,” though he expressed optimism that Kyiv will prevail against Russian forces in the end.

“I am certain that Russia will not be able to break Ukraine,” Rosin said in an interview in Tallinn after detailing the report on Wednesday.

“Putin is playing for time, believing that Ukraine and the West will wear out before Russia,” the report said. “Putin thinks he can ‘bomb’ Ukraine to the negotiating table.” Last year’s report accurately predicted that Putin’s forces would be able to mount an invasion in the second half of February.

“Ukraine must win this war, because if Russia wins, then the cost of the blow to Western security will be significantly greater than the financial contribution that is currently being made,” Rosin said.

President Joe Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine was a test that the US and its NATO allies had passed, and vowed again to stand with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy as long as needed.

“Putin’s invasion has been a test for the ages, a test for America, a test for the world,” Biden said Tuesday night in his State of the Union address to Congress. “Such a defense matters to us because it keeps the peace and prevents open season” for “would-be aggressors to threaten our security and prosperity.”

Americans remain largely supportive of efforts to assist Ukraine. Nearly two-thirds of Americans surveyed last month by Gallup say they prefer supporting Ukraine in reclaiming its territory, versus just 31% who would like to see the conflict ended quickly.

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