The president of Ukraine praised the leaders of the Western nations for providing tanks to bolster the war against Russia, but he stressed that the tanks needed to be delivered as soon as possible.
During his nightly speech, Volodymyr Zelensky called on the Western world to provide Ukraine with long-range missiles as well as fighter planes.
His remarks came shortly after the United States and Germany made the announcement that they would provide Ukraine with Abrams and Leopard tanks.
The declaration was denounced by Russia as a “blatant provocation,” and the country threatened to destroy any tanks that were provided.
“These tanks catch fire just as the others do. Simply said, their prices are rather high “President Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson remarked.
Mr Zelensky discussed the need for “progress to be made in other elements of our defence cooperation” with the secretary general of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg. Ukraine is interested in receiving the supply of long-range missiles and artillery.
He also advocated for the fast supply of Western tanks, but he also pushed for the delivery of a considerable number of tanks: “We must assemble such a tank force, such a freedom force that when it hits, tyranny will never again rise again,” he stated.
After ensuring the safety of the tanks, it is likely that Mr Zelensky will now shift his attention to providing the Ukrainian air force with more technologically advanced fighter jets. However, many Western governments continue to oppose such a move out of fear that the aircraft could be used to attack targets inside Russia.
Olaf Scholz, the German chancellor, gave a speech to the Bundestag in Berlin on Wednesday revealing the specifics of the plan to transfer tanks to Ukraine. In that address, he reiterated that “there would be no supplies of fighter jets to Ukraine.”
Joe Biden, the Vice President of the United States, made the announcement on Wednesday that the United States will provide Ukraine with 31 M1 Abrams combat tanks.
The decision to supply the tanks was made public just a few short hours after Germany revealed that it would be sending 14 of its Leopard 2 tanks to the battlefield in Ukraine.
Additionally, Berlin made it possible for other European nations to contribute tanks manufactured in Germany by donating some of their existing supply.
For a number of months, Ukraine has been lobbying its Western partners to ship the necessary weaponry.
Nearly a year after Moscow’s invasion, it welcomed the two declarations as a turning point that would allow its forces to restore momentum and take back captured territory.
It was also stated that the tanks may be helpful in discouraging a prospective attack by Russia in the spring.