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German indecision is a “disappointment”, according to the Ukrainian minister

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CNN

Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Andriy Melnyk expressed frustration in an interview with CNN over Germany’s indecision over whether to send its Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

Speaking to CNN’s Isa Soares on Friday, Melnyk called Germany’s lack of action a “disappointment”, after initially praising the UK for moving forward with a promise of Challenger 2 tanks, adding that he hoped the move would inspire other countries to follow suit.

The UK is the “first nation to deliver Challenger 2 main battle tanks and this could be a trigger hopefully for other countries but unfortunately not Germany yet,” said Melnyk, who has went on to describe Germany’s inaction as a “huge disappointment for all Ukrainians.

Germany has so far failed to reach an agreement with key Western allies on sending Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, despite growing pressure from NATO and Kyiv to step up military aid before a possible Russian offensive in the spring.

Germany’s new Defense Minister Boris Pistorius told reporters on the sidelines of a high-stakes defense meeting at Ramstein Air Base in Germany on Friday that no decision had yet been made on whether to send Leopard tanks in Ukraine.

In his interview with Soares, Melnyk further expressed Ukraine’s disappointment with Germany’s announcement while remaining hopeful that Germany would weigh Ukraine’s concerns and could still decide to send Leopard tanks.

“The German government did not take this important decision, not only to first allow other nations like Poland, Finland, Spain or Greece, which have German battle tanks, to make same, but also to strengthen and create this, as we call it ‘Global Tanks Coalition’ to help the Ukrainian forces to push back the Russians and to launch the counter-offensive which will allow us to liberate the occupied territories”, declared Melnyk.

“We are disappointed, but the decision has still not been taken, so we hope that the government in Berlin will take seriously all the concerns it heard (on Friday) in Ramstein,” Melnyk added.

“After 331 days of brutal war that Russia waged against Ukraine, they are still taking inventory of stocks, of (the) Bundeswehr (the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany) and of industry, to check if they have something to send to Ukraine! It’s ridiculous,” Melnyk told CNN.

CNN reported on Friday that German officials have indicated they will not send their Leopard tanks to Ukraine or allow any other country with German-made tanks in their inventory unless the United States also agrees to send them. send their M1 Abrams tanks to Kyiv.

While Germany denies claims it is dragging its feet, Ukrainian diplomats stress the urgency of the situation.

“Time is running out” to get Western tanks into Ukraine before Russia launches a planned spring offensive, Oksana Markarova, Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Friday.

“We need these tanks now,” Markarova said.

Tanks are “very necessary now, so that our brave defenders can be protected. So we can maneuver, we can shoot and in fact we can go back on the counteroffensive and we can anticipate future attacks that Russia is actually planning to expand in the spring,” Markarova said.

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