An adviser to Ukraine’s leader said he is confident a deal will be struck for long-range missiles
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has called on Western nations to provide fighter jets and long-range ammunition just hours after the United States and Germany agreed to send heavy battle tanks.
In a video address on Wednesday, Zelensky thanked his German and American counterparts for their decision to send tanks, but he quickly rebuffed Ukraine’s need for additional weapons.
“We also need to open supplies of long-range missiles to Ukraine, it’s important – we need to expand our cooperation on artillery,” he said, adding that his country also needs fighter jets and stuff “Speed and volume are now key.”
Washington’s decision to send 31 Abrams tanks broke a stalemate with Berlin, which had refused to send its own Leopard 2 tanks or allow Allies to re-export them to Kiev unless the United States followed suit . Ukrainian officials had long advocated for heavier armor, particularly the M1 Abrams, alongside other advanced weapons systems from the West.
A top adviser to Zelensky, Mikhail Podolyak, told the Telegraph on Wednesday that he expects Ukraine’s principals to eventually supply long-range missiles. “part of the negotiation process” for the next arms delivery to Kiev.
“At the moment, we are seeing a sharp change in sentiment among the political elites of European countries, who understand that we must hand over all equipment, including armored vehicles.” he said. “And we will undoubtedly reach an agreement on long-range missiles.”
The consultant added “Only these missiles will make it possible to destroy almost the entire infrastructure of the Russian rear army.”
Zelensky appears on Russian TV
Citing unnamed sources, the Telegraph reported that the British government has done so “not excluded” longer-range missiles, but currently has no plans to deliver them. Washington has previously rejected Ukraine’s requests for ATACMS surface-to-surface missiles, which have a range of about 305km, though it’s unclear if that, like the M1 Abrams decision, can be changed.
Moscow has repeatedly called on Western countries to stop the flow of arms to Ukraine, saying the weapons will only prolong the conflict and make a negotiated settlement impossible. The Russian ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, condemned the forthcoming refueling shipments as “Another blatant provocation”, insist on the hardware will be “destroyed” by Russian troops.
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