Will the Europeans send the latest generation of heavy weapons to Ukraine?

President Zelensky demands that Europe send him modern heavy weapons for the battle of Donbass. You may only get Soviet-era weaponry.

Despite the sanctions imposed by Europe in the first days of the Ukraine invasion, Russia’s offensive continues and intensifies. On Monday, EU foreign ministers met in Luxembourg to discuss a sixth package of sanctions against Moscow.

The immediate cessation of oil and gas purchases demanded by President Zelensky to stop financing the Russian war effort still divides the 27. According to the main German economic forecasting institutes, Germany is at risk of falling into recession in 2023 in case of an immediate shutdown of Russian gas. supplies. Italy, Austria and Hungary are also heavily dependent on Russian gas.

To help the Ukrainians, the EU has also discussed further arms deliveries. During his visit to kyiv with the head of diplomacy Josep Borrell, Ursula von der Leyen promised to release 500 million euros in weapons, without specifying the type of weapons, or the precise timetable.

“Sanctions are important, but they will not solve the Donbass problem. The Donbass battle will be decisive for the outcome of the war”, Josep Borrell stressed.

Heavy and modern weapons.

In order to win the Battle of Donbass, kyiv demands that the Europeans urgently send it not only defensive weapons, such as missiles (anti-tank, surface-to-air), howitzers or drones, but heavy weapons (tanks, aircraft, anti-aircraft batteries, etc. ).

“We need the weapons that some of our partners in the European Union have,” the Ukrainian president demanded.

I’m not sure if this request is taken into account. On the one hand, European armies do not have enough stocks of recent equipment to provide it. On the other hand, modern weapons would require training to enable the Ukrainian military to handle them.

Sure enough, the Ukrainian army will start to receive heavy weaponry, but it will mostly be old, Soviet-era equipment that Ukrainians already use and that doesn’t require any training. Washington is even trying to convince European countries that they possess a Soviet arsenal to hand over to the Ukraine in exchange for fresh American equipment.

The Czech Republic announced the shipment of tanks Russian-designed T-72. Slovakia, which also has a stock of Russian T-72 and T-55 tanks, is also offering to help Ukraine repair them by providing spare parts. Bratislava has already delivered Soviet S-300 air defense systems, which have already been used by the Ukrainians.

Soviet equipment against American weapons.

Same for planes. Poland, Bulgaria and Slovakia offered to donate Mig-29s or Su-25s. Later talks with the united states geostrategic in nature, Poland could finally send fighter jets by passing them through the US base at Ramstein in Germany. In return, Warsaw could get F-16.

Slovakia should step up its help. He announced on Friday that he had supplied kyiv with a Russian S-300 air defense system. In exchange, the United States promised to send a battery of Patriot PAC-3s. Slovakia also plans to sell 11 Mig-29s. They will be replaced by the 14 F-16s ordered in 2018.

For its part, Germany says it can no longer make use of one’s actions and calls his industrialists. rheinmetall it is awaiting government authorization to offer around fifty Leopard 1 tanks designed in the 1960s and stored at its Italian subsidiary. But kyiv will not have to rely on new weapons.

The deputy of the Liberal Party, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, warned that to be used they require training and warns that without this competence, the Ukrainian soldiers will be nothing more than “cannon fodder”.

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