LONDON — It “would not be appropriate” for Western allies to meet all of Ukraine’s demands for arms, Britain’s Prime Minister said on Friday.
Boris Johnson was speaking at a joint press conference with Chancellor Olaf Scholz after their first face-to-face meeting in London, hours after Berlin refused to send Marder tanks to Ukraine, arguing Germany needs them for its own defense needs.
The UK will send over £100m worth of military equipment to Ukraine, including more Starstreak anti-aircraft missiles and an additional 800 anti-tank missiles and precision munitions “capable of staying in the sky until aimed at their target”. , announced Johnson . The new British pack also includes helmets, night vision goggles and body armor.
However, Johnson said the West will not be able to meet all of Ukraine’s weapons requirements because it would be “inappropriate” to ship some of that equipment to Kyiv.
When asked if Britain would send its own tanks and armored vehicles to Kyiv, Johnson replied: “I’m basically willing to consider anything in the form of defensive weapons to help Ukrainians protect themselves and their people.”
“I think it’s important that we give equipment that is really useful and can be operated by Ukrainians, that’s our reasoning,” he said. “It might make more sense to support the Ukrainians by replenishing some of the former Warsaw Pact countries and allowing them to supply some of their own armaments in the way you saw it.”
Scholz agreed with Johnson, saying allies “always have to look at what can be used effectively.”
“The fact is that we are trying to deliver weapons that are useful and usable … The successes that the Ukrainian army has achieved so far show that these are particularly effective weapons: anti-tank weapons, anti-aircraft weapons, ammunition. ”
Scholz also said criticism of French President Emmanuel Macron over his dialogue with Russian President Vladimir Putin was “unfair,” adding that Macron had shown “great commitment” to achieving peace in Ukraine.
Russian forces left behind “many” tanks, vehicles and artillery in a “hasty” retreat from northern Ukraine, according to a Western official.
“It was quite a precipitous withdrawal by the Russian forces and there is a lot of Russian equipment that was abandoned in this precipitous withdrawal and that will only add to the challenge they have in terms of refurbishing and rebuilding their forces , if they remove them to both Belarus and Russia.”
They added, “Some of it is kind of unclear as to why it was abandoned because you might have thought some of these vehicles were still viable… and I think there’s something about the morale collapse and the collapse of the will to fight.”
Closer than ever
At the press conference, the British prime minister hailed Germany’s “seismic decisions” to reduce its dependence on Russian fossil fuels, saying sanctions against Russia are “not easy for any of us”.
Scholz described the previous sanctions against the Kremlin as “highly effective”. He also defended Germany’s timetable to reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels, despite accusations that it was going too slowly to break that dependence.
“We’re doing everything we can and we’re doing a lot. I think it’s a very strong decision that we made, away from using fossil resources… That’s going to happen in about 20 years and that’s going to be a very tough agenda, to be clear,” Scholz said.
Despite the ongoing row between the EU and the UK over post-Brexit trade rules in Northern Ireland, Johnson said Britain’s bilateral relationship with Germany had become “even more important” since Russia invaded Ukraine, and that Britain and Germany ” share the very same belief that Putin must pay” for his attack.
The couple discussed talks to facilitate implementation of the controversial Northern Ireland Protocol, but Johnson declined to elaborate on the substance of their discussion or rule out the suspension of the deal, which is part of the Brexit divorce deal.
The two leaders announced that their respective cabinets will hold regular meetings to improve their bilateral ties, confirming a September POLITICO report. The first meeting will take place early next year, said Scholz.
“We both share the belief that our relationships are good,” said Scholz.
https://www.politico.eu/article/uk-germany-rule-out-send-tanks-ukraine/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication Britain and Germany will not send tanks to Ukraine – POLITICO