NATO defence leaders have met at Ramstein Air Base in Germany on Friday and are planning on providing Ukraine with military aid.
Germany is refusing to provide Leopard 2 tanks to Kyiv and officials are warning there is a “risk of a massive assault” in the next few weeks.
Poland has said that they are ready to provide the German built Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and on Thursday the Polish government said, they are “ready to donate a company (14) of Leopard 2s.”
On Wednesday the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said during a meeting with US officials at the World Economic Forum, Davos that Berlin will not authorise the transfer of their tanks to Ukraine.
European Council President Charles Michel said, “the following weeks could be decisive in Ukraine.”
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It has been reported that Germany will not send Leopard 2 tanks unless the US sends their Abrams tanks.
On Thursday during a Pentagon briefing, spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said that the Challenger 2 and Leopard tanks are different, and the Abrams are harder to maintain.
The Pentagon spokeswoman said, “It’s more of a sustainment issue. I mean, this is a tank that requires jet fuel, whereas the Leopard and the Challenger, it’s a different engine.”
The Leopard and Challenger are “a little bit easier to maintain,” she added.
She continued, “They can manoeuvre across large portions of territory before they need to refuel.
“The maintenance and the high cost that it would take to maintain an Abrams — it just doesn’t make sense to provide that to the Ukrainians at this moment.”
US defence minister Lloyd J. Austin III said at the meeting in Ramstein that the West must “dig deeper.”
He said, “This is not a moment to slow down. It is time to dig deeper. The Ukrainian people are watching us.
“The Kremlin is watching us.
“History is watching us. So, we won’t let up. And we won’t waver in our determination to help Ukraine defend itself from Russia’s imperial aggression.”
US Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will discuss the latest package of aid to Ukraine which totals $2.5 billion which will include Stryker armoured vehicles.