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Defense Minister Pistorius in Kyiv: Selenskyj thanks Germany for support


Boris Pistorius and Volodymyr Zelenskyj exchanged views on the “next concrete steps” of German support. According to Germany's defense minister, fighter jets were not discussed.

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Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Boris Pistorius


Kay Nietfeld / dpa

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a visit to Kyiv.

The meeting was about the "next concrete steps" to support Ukraine, the Federal Ministry of Defense said on Twitter on Tuesday.

The promised Leopard 2 A6 battle tanks from Germany would be available "at the end of March".

At the same time, Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands announced that they would deliver at least 100 Leopard 1 tanks to Ukraine "in the next few months."

Zelenskyj rated Pistorius' visit as "a signal of support for Ukraine."

"Ukraine is very interested in the support of one of the leaders of the European Union - Germany - especially in this difficult time for us," Zelenskyy was quoted as saying in a statement from his presidential office.

"We are grateful for the recent decisions, for all decisions," he emphasized.

Pistorius also met the Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov in Kyiv.

Resnikov published a photo on Twitter showing him with Pistorius and a tank model in his hands, and wrote: "The 'first' Leopard 2 has arrived in Kyiv." He thanked Pistorius, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) "and the German People".

Reznikov wrote on Facebook: »There is no doubt – Germany is on the side of Ukraine.«

After much hesitation, the German government decided at the end of January to deliver Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine.

This means that Germany is the "biggest donor" to date of Leopard 2 tanks, Pistorius said in the ZDF "heute journal".

He left it open whether other countries would be added.

"We are still in talks with two or three countries, which could result in something else, but that is not yet ready for a decision," said the minister.

In the "heute-journal" Pistorius also announced further tank deliveries, such as the Gepard anti-aircraft tank, to the Ukraine.

In addition to the 30 already delivered, two more were delivered in January, "five more will follow," assured Pistorius.

According to this, 40 Marder armored personnel carriers will also be delivered this year.

A delivery of fighter jets was not part of the talks with Selenskyj.

A statement released in the evening by the defense ministries of Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands said the first Leopard 1 tanks should arrive in Ukraine "in a few months".

The tanks were made in Germany - the federal government granted the industry permission to supply a total of up to 178 units. 

Pistorius also encountered military personnel in Ukraine.

"Among other things, I met the crew of a cheetah here and had them tell me how satisfied they are with the equipment, with the equipment, with the combat options - but above all with the training provided by the German forces at home," he said the broadcaster world.


Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2023-02-07

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