Ukraine needs more weapons and more military hardware. The war-ravaged country's Western backers are to meet later this week in Germany to discuss ways to meet the country's needs in its fight against Russia.
NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Wednesday, said the only way to a negotiated peace is to give Ukraine support.
Meanwhile, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is key to the supply of modern Leopard 2 tanks - top of Ukraine's wish list. Scholz has veto power over any decision to send the German-made military vehicle tanks.
It's believed Scholz will allow tanks to be sent to Ukraine if the United States agrees to send its own American tanks. At Davos he strongly underlined Germany's support for Ukraine, adding he also wanted to avoid creating a war between Russia and NATO.
The supply of tanks is set to be top of the agenda at Friday's meeting of the so-called Ukrainian Contact group at Ramstein air base in Germany.
On the 6th of January, France announced it would be sending lightweight armoured combat vehicles, the AMX-10 RC to Ukraine in a show of support to Kyiv.
A day later, Germany and the United States pledged to send a Patriot air defence missile battery as well as 40 Marder vehicles by the end of March.
The French move is speculated as being a way to put pressure on the German government to issue more military aid to Ukraine. While Berlin has delivered significant help since the beginning of the war, including Gepard anti-aircraft guns and an IRIS-T surface-to-air missile system, Scholz and his government have been vividly criticised at home and abroad for their ‘wait and see approach’ and for sitting on a stockpile of more than 200 tanks.
During a visit to the United States on January 17th, the Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte announced the Netherlands would join the American and German pledges by sending an advanced Patriot defense systems to Ukraine. Currently the Dutch military has 4 Patriot systems, with one not in use.
Donors of military aid to Ukraine are meeting in Estonia on Thursday.
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