NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 11:16
Defense Secretary Austin (US): ‘Now is the time to go deeper’
“This is an important moment for Ukraine and the world.” With those words, the NATO meeting in Ramstein was opened by US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. Fifty defense leaders are present in Germany to discuss further military support to Ukraine.
During his opening speech, Austin once again stated that he would support Ukraine as long as necessary. He also stressed the importance of this meeting.
“Russia is currently regrouping and preparing for new attacks. They are struggling and we cannot relax now. The Kremlin and history are watching.”
Delivery of tanks
Supplying tanks in particular will be high on the agenda. Germany is still reluctant to send tanks, mainly for fear of provoking Russia. As a manufacturer of Leopard 2 tanks, Berlin must give permission for the delivery, even if other countries want to supply them.
Ukrainian President Zelensky addressed those present via a video link. After thanking all the countries present for their support, he emphasized the importance of tanks in the war.
“Thanks to your help, we see results at the front. But to win the war, we need tanks. There is little time and it is in your hands to win the war and defeat Russia. Hundreds of thanks to you, but those are not tanks.”
Ukrainian President Zelensky addresses those present in Ramstein
Germany is under great pressure to approve the deliveries. Chancellor Scholz said earlier this week that he was prepared to do so, but under certain conditions. The German government wants to support Ukraine and Germany has now become an important arms supplier. Nevertheless, the country has adopted a very reserved attitude, partly due to Germany’s wartime past and the fear of further escalation.
President Zelensky expects “strong decisions” from Ramstein. He hopes that the supply of tanks will gain momentum.
Follow the most important developments regarding the war in Ukraine in our live blog.
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