Ukraine Latest: Stoltenberg Confident of Solution on Tanks Soon

  • In Business
  • 2023-01-24 09:44:18Z
  • By Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said Chancellor Olaf Scholz is talking to allies about sending Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine and could give the green light to ship them in the next few days.

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Poland said it formally asked the government in Berlin for the necessary approval to send its German-built Leopards, while NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said he's confident there'll be a solution soon to provide Ukraine with the boost in firepower it needs to repel an expected new Russian offensive and recapture lost territory.

"I am preparing for a possible decision to send the Leopard tanks and to allow other European and NATO partners to do the same," Pistorius said in a television interview, pushing back against the suggestion that Germany is dragging its feet.

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On the Ground

Russian troops launched nine missile strikes at settlements in the Kharkiv, Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions over the past day, and conducted 27 air attacks and 79 assaults with multiple-launch rocket systems, Ukraine's General Staff said on Facebook. According to its morning statement, Russian forces are continuing an offensive on the Bakhmut and Avdiyivka axes north of Donetsk, while all attacks in the direction of Kupyansk were repelled.

(All times CET)

Stoltenberg Confident of Swift Tanks Solution (10 a.m.)

Stoltenberg said Ukraine urgently needs battle tanks both to repel any new Russian offensives but also to equip it to retake territory captured by the invader.

"Russia is preparing for new offensives and we need to enable the Ukrainians fast," Stoltenberg said in Berlin. "I am confident that there will be a solution soon and I welcome also the clear message from the minister that other NATO allies that have Leopard battle tanks are free to identify those that may be available for Ukraine to make them ready but also to start training the Ukrainian crews."

Poland to Ask Germany Soon For Tanks Permission (9 a.m.)

Poland plans "within days" to ask for Germany's permission to send Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine, according to government spokesman Piotr Muller.

The government in Warsaw wants to formally lodge a request with Berlin as part of a coalition of countries and talks are continuing, Muller told Radio Plus. Poland, which wants to send 14 tanks, is working with a "small coalition" of countries to join the effort, Muller said, declining to say how many tanks other nations have pledged.

Zelenskiy Aide Speaks With Sullivan (8:30 a.m.)

Andriy Yermak, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's chief of staff, said he discussed the protection of Ukraine's critical infrastructure and energy security with US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.

They also talked about increasing pressure on Russia via sanctions and the current situation on the front line, Yermak wrote on Telegram.

Russian Church Officials Sanctioned (8 a.m.)

Zelenskiy signed a decree imposing sanctions on 22 Russian orthodox priests and preachers. The decree, published on his website, blocks assets, restricts travel, prevents withdrawal of capital and halts cultural ties, scientific cooperation, and educational and sports contacts.

"Sanctions have been imposed against 22 Russian citizens who, under the guise of spirituality, support terror and genocidal policy," Zelenskiy said in his evening address.

Zelenskiy Announces Government Shakeup (3:50 a.m.)

Zelenskiy said he's preparing a personnel shakeup in the government in Kyiv, law enforcement agencies and regional authorities. He made the announcement in a Facebook post but didn't name specific officials or posts.

He also restricted travel by government employees outside the country. "Officials will no longer be able to travel abroad for vacation or for any other non-governmental purpose," he said. The announcement came after Vasyl Lozynskyy, the nation's deputy minister of communities, development and infrastructure, was detained in a corruption investigation.

--With assistance from Chris Reiter.

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