Ukraine’s President Zelenskiy Says His Country Expects “Strong Decisions” from NATO Defence Leaders

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Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskiy said his country was expecting “strong decisions” from defence leaders of NATO and other countries meeting on Friday. The meeting at Ramstein Air Base in Germany is the latest in a series since Russia invaded Ukraine nearly 11 months ago, and where future weapons supplies will be discussed.

Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskiy said his government was expecting "strong decisions" from defence leaders of NATO and other countries meeting on Friday to discuss boosting Ukraine's ability to confront Russian forces with modern battle tanks.

 

The meeting at Ramstein Air Base in Germany is the latest in a series since Russia invaded Ukraine nearly 11 months ago, and where future weapons supplies will be discussed, particularly of Germany's Leopard 2 tanks used by armies across Europe.

 

Berlin has veto power over any decision to export the tanks and Chancellor Olaf Scholz's government has appeared reluctant to authorise that for fear of provoking Russia.

 

Some allies say Germany's concern is misplaced with Russia already fully committed to war and its repeated assertions that Western weapons transfers would prolong the conflict and increase suffering in Ukraine.

 

Ukraine and Russia have both relied primarily on Soviet-era T-72 tanks, which have been destroyed in their hundreds during the war that Russian President Vladimir Putin started on Feb. 24, calling it a "special military operation" to protect Russia and Russian speakers.

 

Ukraine and its allies accuse Russia of an unprovoked war to grab territory and to erase the independence of a ex-Soviet republic and neighbour. Western countries have provided a steady supply of weapons to Ukraine.

 

"We are, in fact, now waiting for a decision from one European capital, which will activate the prepared chains of cooperation regarding tanks," Zelenskiy said in a video address on Thursday night.

 

The Lithuanian defence minister said earlier that several countries would announce sending Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine at Friday's meeting.