A Friday assembly of Ukraine-supporting governments ended with out Germany giving Poland the OK to switch German-made tanks to Kyiv.
U.S. officers subsequently tried to downplay that final result of the 54-nation confab at Ramstein Air Base.
“This isn’t actually about one single platform,” U.S. Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin said Friday after the conferences. “Our purpose…is to supply the potential that Ukraine must be profitable within the close to time period.”
Requested whether or not Germany was “doing sufficient to indicate actual management in Europe,” Austin responded, “Sure, however we are able to all do extra. The USA and each different member of the [allies] can do extra.”
Poland has supplied to ship a few of its Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, however export licenses forbid their switch with out German approval.
Earlier this week, the UK mentioned it will ship 14 of its Challenger 2 primary battle tanks to the beleaguered nation.
“That is the primary introduction of Western primary battle tanks into Ukraine,” Austin mentioned. “I…commend our British allies for making this determination.”
German Protection Minister Boris Pistorius denied stories that Germany needs the U.S. to supply a few of its Abrams tanks earlier than it approves the Leopard transfers.
Austin appeared to concur: “This notion of unlocking , in my thoughts, just isn’t a problem.”
Strain has been mounting on Germany to approve the Polish tank switch. Pistorius instructed reporters that Berlin “will make our choices as quickly as doable.”
The U.S. has been hesitant to ship Abrams tanks, partly, due to their heavy upkeep and logistics wants.
“This can be a tank that…requires jet gasoline, whereas the Leopard and the Challenger [have] a distinct engine,” Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh mentioned Thursday. They require diesel [fuel]. It is a little bit bit simpler to take care of. They’ll maneuver throughout massive parts of territory earlier than they should refuel.”
U.S. officers have taken a methodical method to sending arms to Ukraine, stressing the necessity to prepare Ukrainian forces on the precise weapons earlier than sending them en masse.
Nonetheless, the U.S. has been broadening the varieties of armor and different weapons it releases to Ukraine. On Thursday, Washington licensed $2.5 billion in new weapons transfers, together with 59 Bradley infantry combating autos, 90 Stryker armored personnel carriers, 53 MRAPs, and 350 Humvees. It additionally consists of NASAMS missiles and Avenger interceptors.
Officers from 54 nations supporting Ukraine met this week for the eighth time since Russia’s invasion.
“Immediately’s assembly centered on Ukraine’s wants for air protection and armor,” Austin mentioned. “We additionally pushed laborious on learn how to synchronize these donations and switch them into absolutely operational capabilities—and which means each step from donation to coaching to upkeep after which to sustainment.”
Austin praised Germany and the Netherlands for sending Patriot missile interceptors to Ukraine.