Live: Baltic states call on Germany to deliver tanks to Ukraine ‘now’


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A day after Germany failed to give the green light to supply Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks, the defense ministers of the Baltic states of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania on Saturday urged Berlin to supply Kiev with the main battle tanks “now”. The joint statement, a rare public rebuke from Europe’s top power, underlined frustrations at Berlin’s hesitation. Read about the day’s events as they unfolded on our live blog. All times Paris time (GMT+2).

1:27 pm: Russian army launches ‘offensive operations’ in Zaporizhzhia

The Russian army has said its troops have launched an offensive in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region, where fighting intensified this week after several months of a near-frozen front.

In their daily report, Moscow’s troops said they were leading “offensive operations” in the region and claimed to have “occupied more advantageous lines and positions”.

The announcement came a day after Ukraine’s energy minister said the situation at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was deteriorating due to the mental state of Ukrainian staff and the state of equipment.

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The UN’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, is trying to establish a safe zone around the nuclear facility.

12:15 pm: Germany faces Baltic backlash over refusal of tank supplies

The foreign ministers of the three Baltic states have called on Germany to supply Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks “now” to help stop Russian aggression.

“We, the Latvian, Estonian and Lithuanian foreign ministers, call on Germany to supply Leopard tanks to Ukraine now,” Latvian minister Edgars Rinkevics said on Twitter.

“This is necessary to stop Russian aggression, help Ukraine and quickly restore peace in Europe,” he added, emphasizing that Germany, as the leading European power, has a special responsibility in this regard.

On Friday, after a meeting of the Ukrainian Defense Contact Group at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, Berlin said no decision had been made on whether to deliver the main battle tanks, despite an emotional plea from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Expectations had grown prior to the meeting in Germany that the Allies would agree to send the German-made Leopard tanks, amid growing pressure from several European countries.

11:06 am: Ukraine adviser tells allies to ‘think faster’ about military support

A senior adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has urged Kiev’s allies to “think faster” about stepping up their military support, a day after they failed to agree on sending Kiev coveted main battle tanks.

“You help Ukraine anyway with the necessary weapons and realize that there is no other option to end the war than the defeat of Russia,” Mykhailo Podolyak wrote on Twitter.

“But today’s indecision is killing more of our people. Every day of delay is the death of Ukrainians. Think faster.”

Ukraine’s partners pledged hundreds of millions of dollars in new military aid this week but could not agree on sending the German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Kyiv during a conference at Ramstein Air Base on Friday.

(UKTN with UKTN, UKTN and Reuters)

© France Médias Monde graphic studio



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