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Ukraine foreign minister calls on allies to send as many tanks as possible after German announcement

Ukraine’s foreign minister on Wednesday called on the country’s Western allies to send as many tanks as possible, following Germany’s announcement that it would allow Leopard 2 battle tanks to be sent to Kyiv.

“So the tank coalition is formed. Everyone who doubted this could ever happen sees now: for Ukraine and partners impossible is nothing,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in a tweet on Wednesday. “I call on all new partners that have Leopard 2 tanks in service to join the coalition and provide as many of them as possible. They are free now.”

Ukraine has long sought heavy combat vehicles in its nearly yearlong war with Russia, and Germany, as the maker of the Leopard tanks, has faced increasing pressure from Western allies to approve their requests to send the tanks to Kyiv.

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Berlin announced on Wednesday that it would send 14 Leopard tanks to Kyiv and approve requests from other countries, like Poland, to also supply Ukraine with tanks. 

“German main battle tanks, further broadening of defense support & training missions, green light for partners to supply similar weapons. Just heard about these important & timely decisions in a call with @OlafScholz,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted on Wednesday. “Sincerely grateful to the Chancellor and all our friends in [Germany].”

The move comes as President Biden is reportedly also poised to make a U-turn on the tank issue, with the potential transfer of M1 Abrams main battle tanks to Kyiv.

Zelensky warned again on Tuesday that Russia is preparing for a “new wave of aggression” and urged the international community to increase its support for Ukraine.

“But it is important to see the reality: it is not about five, or ten, or fifteen tanks. The need is greater. Every day we are doing everything necessary to fill the deficit. And I am grateful to everyone who supports us in this,” he said in his nightly address to the Ukrainian people. “However, discussions need to end with decisions.”

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