European foreign ministers discussed aid to Ukraine on Monday, urging Berlin to allow countries to send German-made aid. Leopard Tanksafter the Germany Such deliveries by the Allies appeared to open the door.
Western nations failed to reach an agreement to send heavy battle tanks to Ukraine after pledging billions of dollars in aid to a US air base in Germany last week.
Germany’s Leopard tanks, which are fielded by armies across Europe, are widely seen as a perfect fit for Ukraine, but Berlin must authorize their sale and has yet to do so. .
German Foreign Minister Annalina Birbock said on Sunday that Berlin would not stand in the way if Poland wanted to send tanks.
Reached at a meeting in Brussels on Monday, he declined to elaborate on those comments or say whether he was speaking for the entire government, but said it was important “to defend Ukraine that we Try your best.”
Chancellor Olaf Schulz’s center-left Social Democrats argue that the West should avoid sudden moves that could escalate the war. But several allies rejected that position, saying Russia was already fully committed to its invasion of Ukraine.
Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said there is currently no good reason why battle tanks cannot be provided. “The argument of violence does not work, because Russia continues to rise.”
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergs said the tanks should not be held back another day, while Estonian Foreign Minister Armas Rensalvo said Germany, as the “engine of Europe”, had a special responsibility to help Ukraine. Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Esselborn said Russia could win the war if the Europeans “don’t help Ukraine when they need it”.
The European Union is considering sending a new tranche of military aid worth 500 million euros to Kyiv. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said he hoped member states would approve it on Monday, “but I don’t know”. French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said she was confident the package would be approved.
Polish media have reported that Hungary is blocking the package. Hungary’s foreign ministry and a government spokesman did not respond to requests for comment on the reports.
Diplomatic sources have told Reuters that ministers will discuss a 10th package of sanctions against Russia to take effect next month, although no decision is expected on Monday. Ministers will also discuss using Russian assets frozen in Europe under sanctions to help rebuild Ukraine.
In addition, foreign ministers are set to add more names to Iran’s sanctions list for human rights violations.