German Foreign Minister Visits Kharkiv, Suggests Leopard Tanks Are On Their Way – German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock made a surprise trip to Kharkiv, Ukraine, this week and promised additional rounds of military assistance from the German government.
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Speaking to reporters in Kharkiv, the German government official said that Ukrainians “should know that they can count on our solidary and support” which would include “further arms deliveries.”
Baerbock praised the resilience of the Ukrainian people, particularly in Kharkiv, where months of Russian missile bombardments have caused significant damage to the region’s infrastructure.
Making comments alongside Baerbock, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba promised that further German support could deliver a Ukrainian victory in the conflict.
“Kharkiv is now a symbol of successful Ukrainian counteroffensives which prove Ukraine will win with sufficient support of partners. I have no doubts further German military aid will come,” Kuleba said.
While Baerbock stopped short of promising to supply advanced tanks to Ukraine – something European allies have so far been reluctant to provide – the visit sparked speculation that Germany could be the first country to make the pledge.
The German official, who traveled to Kharkiv by train, also promised to support Ukraine’s application to become a member of the European Union.
In a Twitter post on Thursday, accompanied by a photograph of the two foreign ministers standing in front of a destroyed building, the German official thanked Kuleba for inviting her to see the damage done by Russian forces.
“Thank you @DmytroKuleba for inviting me to Kharkiv today. Besieged, bombed, liberated – this city is a symbol for the madness of Russia’s aggression and for Ukrainian’s unbreakable will to live in freedom from oppression. Be sure that Germany will support you all the way,” Baerbock wrote.
U.K. Confirms Challenger 2 Tank Rumors
Following speculation that the United Kingdom may be considering sending Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine, a spokesperson for British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed on Tuesday that discussions are ongoing about the matter.
The spokesperson said that a decision has not yet been made but that Ukraine continues to request military aid from its Western allies and that the requests have “included tanks.”
“When it comes to further equipment to Ukraine, you’ll know that for several months, we’ve been working with partners around the provision of tanks and armored vehicles, artillery, air defense, and the prime minister spoke to [Ukrainian] President Zelenskyy just last week … about what can be most effective in helping Ukraine continue their progress,” the spokesperson said, adding that they cannot comment on speculation until a decision has been made.
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.