At the start of his visit to Germany, the Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament, Ruslan Stefanchuk, called on the central government to play a leading role in supplying Ukraine with main battle tanks. “Germany must live up to its leadership role and be the first country to supply battle tanks,” Stepanchuk told the German Press Agency on Wednesday evening after arriving in Berlin. “A country like Germany does not wait for others to do things.”
Chancellor Olaf Scholes (SPD) has repeatedly stressed that he does not want to go it alone on arms deliveries. So far, no NATO country has supplied Western-style main battle tanks to Ukraine. The Ukrainian government has been pushing for tanks like the German Panther 2 ever since the army succeeded in recapturing areas occupied by Russian forces. “Ukrainian army has recaptured 6000 square kilometers of territory. These victories inspire other countries, they inspire the world,” Stepanchuk said. “They are persuading the heads of government of other countries to put Ukraine back at the top of their list of priorities and continue to help the country.”
Stefantschuk is in Berlin for the second time since the start of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. This time, he is participating in the Parliamentary Conference of G7 Economically Powerful Democracies. Germany currently heads the group of states. The most important participant in the conference was the speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi – according to protocol, the number three in the US state. During his visit, Stefantschuk will also meet representatives of the federal government, including Chancellor Wolfgang Schmidt and Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP).
Before his speeches, Stepanchuk called for a quick decision on the supply of main battle tanks. “I ask myself: What else do you need, what needs to happen to make a decision? We need to make a decision quickly because winter is approaching,” he said. He stressed: “The faster we get weapons, the faster we win.”
Stepanchuk rejected talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin ahead of Ukraine’s military victory. “Only then will we talk to Putin about how he wants to compensate us.” Stefanchuk explained what victory meant: “Ukraine must regain its territory, including Donbass and Crimea. Russian war crimes should be resolved in a tribunal and Russia should be found guilty. Also, compensation should be given,” he demanded. “Only when all this happens can the world order that Putin shook up be restored.”
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