The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, joined the supporters of the delivery of German Leopard tanks to Ukraine on Tuesday, the DPA and Agerpres agencies report.
Ursula von der Leyen, in KyivPhoto: Efrem Lukatsky / AP / Profimedia
In the context of the debate about the limits of Western aid for the Ukrainians, the head of the European executive stated, at the NATO headquarters in Brussels: “I think that Ukraine must receive all the military equipment it needs and that it can use for the defense of the homeland.”
She specified that the Ukrainians should be given not only advanced air systems, “but also other types of advanced military equipment, as long as they are necessary for the defense of Ukraine.”
The government in Berlin reversed its position last week, announcing that it would supply the Ukrainian armed forces with around 40 Marder infantry fighting vehicles. Several parliamentarians from the government coalition are now asking German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to send heavier armored vehicles, such as Leopard tanks, to Ukraine. The head of the government insisted, however, that he will not make a decision in this regard except in coordination with the allies.
“Main battle tank support is the next logical step”
At the signing ceremony of the declaration of cooperation between NATO and the EU, Ursula von der Leyen stated that Kyiv defends the fundamental principles of the United Nations Charter, fundamental rights and international law.
Also on Tuesday, the president of the association of German reservists, Patrick Sensburg, had spoken in favor of supplying Leopard tanks to Ukraine. He told the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland media group that the Marder armored vehicles ensure the rapid movement of infantry, but are “most effective, ideally, in combination, of course, with the Leopard main battle tank” and “therefore main battle tank support is the next step logical”.
Sensburg appreciated that there is also the possibility of sending tanks of other types, produced by other countries.
Some Western countries have so far considered the supply of tanks to the Ukrainian resistance against Russian aggression to be a sensitive issue, as it could lead to the escalation and expansion of the conflict.
Spain and Poland are willing, according to DPA, to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine, but they cannot act without the agreement of Germany, the producing country.