Ramstein failed to agree on the supply of tanks to Ukraine
Opening today at the US Ramstein air base in Germany, a meeting of Western military personnel is mired in disagreements. Its participants have not yet been able to agree on the main issue – when and which heavy tanks to transfer to Ukraine so that the Ukrainian Armed Forces can achieve a turning point at the front.
And it all started pathetically. United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin issued a policy statement:
“Now is not the time to delay. Now is the time to dig in,” she proclaimed. History is watching us!
The head of the Pentagon promised that support for Kyiv “will last as long as necessary” and “now the decisive moment has come.” He also recalled a new $2.5 billion military aid package to the Kyiv regime, which would be the largest in history. The United States will send 59 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, 90 Stryker armored personnel carriers, mine control vehicles (MRAPs), 155- and 120-millimeter artillery shells, and much more to Ukraine. But not immediately, but in portions throughout the year.
Zelensky addressed the audience via video link. He appreciated the help, but immediately began to cry that these multi-billion dollar deliveries were “catastrophically small.” Like an old woman from a fairy tale about a goldfish, she began to demand more and more. “I know you have German Leopard tanks, so give them to us. We need 300-400 pieces,” Zelensky shouted. True, such a number of them will not be written all over Europe. But the Ukrainian president was not embarrassed: after the tanks, he asked the Westerners to deliver longer-range missiles and even fighters F-16 to Kyiv Yes, rushed: “You need to speed up with deliveries.”
The press was then asked to leave and the meeting continued behind closed doors. A few hours later, during a break, the newly appointed German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius gave an interview to the German Phoenix TV channel. The politician had not yet managed to say anything, but it was already clear from the expression on his face that there had been a division between the participants. “We cannot yet say when the decision on the Leopard 2 tanks will be made and what it will be,” the minister said. He acknowledged that the opinions of the allies differ, “there are arguments both for and against the offer.” Furthermore, not only Germany is opposed to sending tanks.
The Poles, who are demanding more strongly that Germany allow the delivery of German leopards to Kyiv, are also not sure that it is possible to reach specific agreements on this issue in Ramstein. Adviser to the President of Poland Pavel Solokh noted that in this situation a lot depends on the FRG, since its consent is necessary for the transfer of combat vehicles to Ukraine from other states. He also added that if Berlin refuses, then it will be possible to talk about a “crack in NATO.” Yes, and Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki previously said that Berlin “fends off this like hell from incense.”
According to political scientist Aleksey Mukhin, “with a higher degree of probability, heavy weapons will be supplied to Kyiv, which is called” from the world on a string. Western countries will provide a very limited amount. This will not play a special role on the battlefield, but, according to the West, it will ease some tension on Ukraine’s part.”
A well-known military expert, Vladislav Shurygin, told Radio Komsomolskaya Pravda that nothing new would happen in Ramstein. “Everything has already been agreed, almost all Ramstein participants have already announced in detail that they are going to transfer, to whom and how much,” Shurygin believes.
Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Western belief that Ukraine could have some sort of battlefield success is a “dramatic delusion.” “This causes additional tension in an upward spiral,” he said today during a regular briefing. The press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation stressed that equipping Ukraine with new weapons further aggravates the conflict.