President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Germany should independently make decisions on the transfer of battle tanks and other armoured vehicles to Ukraine, and not follow other countries, such as the United States.
President Zelensky stated in an interview with Bild, the full version of which he posted on his Telegram channel.
He stressed that the transfer of tanks and other armoured vehicles to Ukraine will not put an end to the full-scale war. “This is a matter of survival of Ukrainians,” since “without air defence and without tanks, more people will die.”
“A lot is going on around the fact that if the United States is the first to give Abrams [American battle tanks] and open the door to transferring tanks to Ukraine, then Germany and other states will join in. I just want to appeal to Germany. You are not dependent on any state,” Zelensky stressed.
“If you are ready to save the lives of our Ukrainians (because it is about saving lives) – any armoured vehicles, including these tanks, would be used to defend our land. So give it to us. You are an independent state!” he added.
“If you don’t want to give us (tanks and armoured vehicles), listen, no offence. You are an independent state. Don’t give it to us. But don’t say, ‘First America, then Germany, then Poland.’ Don’t. Everyone should be responsible for themselves,” the head of state said.
Earlier, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz explained that his country is already helping Ukraine enough with weapons, and the decision to transfer tanks will be adopted only in coordination with its allies. According to Lars Klingbeil, co-chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, the government coalition made a unanimous decision not to supply battle tanks to Ukraine, because it would take a long time to train the Ukrainian military.