Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has reaffirmed his country's need for further arms deliveries in addition to the battle tanks that have now been promised. "Russian aggression can only be stopped with adequate weapons," said Zelenskyj in his evening video address.
According to its own statements, Ukraine also needs combat aircraft to defend itself against the Russian invasion, which has been going on for eleven months. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has rejected such a delivery. The EU country Poland, which borders Ukraine, is fundamentally open to this idea. Even the US government does not rule out the delivery of fighter jets to Ukraine. Meanwhile, the first Ukrainian soldiers have arrived in Germany for training on the Marder infantry fighting vehicle.
Zelenskyj: "Terrorist state" only understands military language
"The terror state will not understand it otherwise," Zelenskyj justified his demand for further arms deliveries. The most recent wave of Russian attacks with at least eleven dead a few hours earlier had shown this again, he emphasized.
On Wednesday, the federal government decided that Germany would hand over 14 Leopard 2A6 main battle tanks to the Ukrainian armed forces as a first step. Other countries should also receive permission to pass on the tanks made in Germany to the attacked country. In addition, the United States wants to contribute Abrams main battle tanks.
Selenskyj thanked Chancellor Scholz and US President Joe Biden for this - but also insisted on the additional delivery of long-range missiles, fighter jets and more artillery. However, Scholz has ruled out the delivery of combat aircraft or even the deployment of ground troops.
Poland would support delivery of fighter jets
Poland's government, on the other hand, says it would support NATO if it decides to deliver combat aircraft to Ukraine. "I think we, NATO, have to be braver," Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told French broadcaster LCI. But of course it could only be a decision by NATO as a whole, said the head of government.
USA and France do not rule out the delivery of fighter jets
The United States and France are not ruling out the delivery of fighter jets to Ukraine, which is under Russian attack. Asked whether the US is considering supplying fighter jets, US President Biden's Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer said on MSNBC that no particular weapon system had been ruled out. Support will be tailored to what Ukraine needs. "We will discuss this very carefully," Finer said on Thursday (local time) with regard to inquiries from Ukraine.
According to British media reports, the chairman of the Defense Committee of the French National Assembly, Thomas Gassilloud, made a similar statement on Thursday in London: "We have to examine inquiries on a case-by-case basis and leave all doors open."
Canada is sending four Leopard main battle tanks to Ukraine
In his most recent speech, Zelenskyy thanked Canada in particular, which had announced a few hours earlier that it would also be supplying four Leopard tanks. The tank coalition - as he called it - now consists of twelve countries, said Selenskyj. The delivery of the battle tanks will take place "in the coming weeks," said Canada's Defense Minister Anita Anand. In addition, Canadian soldiers should support their Ukrainian counterparts in commissioning the tanks. Canada is considering sending more tanks at a later date.
Ukrainian soldiers for tank training in Germany
The first Ukrainian soldiers have arrived in Germany for training on the Marder infantry fighting vehicle. The group landed in Cologne on Thursday and should start training on the weapon system promptly, security circles told the German Press Agency in Berlin. The training is part of the military aid for Ukraine, which is also to be given 40 martens. The United States is sending Bradley armored personnel carriers to Ukraine.
Pentagon: Delivery of tanks not a "symbolic" act
According to the US government, the delivery of Abrams main battle tanks is not a “symbolic” act. Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said it had heard statements that the US announcement was only intended to clear the way for allies to deliver tanks. However, this is not the case. The US main battle tanks would give Ukraine an advantage on the battlefield, Singh said. Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine could drag on for years. The spokeswoman emphasized that the provision of the Abrams tanks shows the long-term commitment of the United States.
Council of Europe plenary session calls for war tribunal
In response to the war in Ukraine, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has unanimously called for the establishment of an international war crimes tribunal. The tribunal in The Hague should prosecute the political and military leaders of Russia and its ally Belarus who "planned, prepared, initiated or carried out" the war of aggression against Ukraine, the Strasbourg assembly said.
Japan imposes more sanctions on Russia
Japan freezes the assets of other Russian individuals and organizations because of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine. As the Japanese news agency Kyodo reported on Friday, citing the government in Tokyo, this affects 36 people and 52 organizations, including Russian politicians, officers, businessmen and companies. In addition to freezing funds, the additional sanctions also include export bans.