US asks allies to ‘dig deeper’ to support Ukraine; Kremlin says tanks will change ‘nothing’ on battlefield

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked the United States on Friday (January 20) for a new security assistance package to the war-torn nation. While Western allies are mulling over further military aid, especially tanks, to Kyiv to help in its fight against Russia. 

Zelensky expressed gratitude to US President Joe Biden for providing Ukraine with another powerful defence support package worth $2.5 billion. 

Zelensky hailed the latest package that included Stryker armoured personnel carriers, Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles and Avenger air defence systems. He said that it will be an “important help in our fight against the aggressor”.

The Ukrainian prime minister also mentioned that the West has the power to provide the war-ravaged nation with tanks, F-16 jets and long-range missiles. 

Discussion over Leopard 2 tanks 

Zelensky asked the Western allies to “speed up” arms deliveries while speaking during defence ministers’ talks at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. The main focus of the gathering at Ramstein Air Base remained whether Germany will allow the supply of its Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. 

Zelensky said allies needed “not to bargain about different numbers of tanks but to open that principal supply that will stop evil”. 

Kremlin issues warning 

Meanwhile, the Kremlin warned that the Western tanks will make little difference on the ground. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that “one should not exaggerate the importance of such supplies in terms of the ability to change something”. 

“This will add problems for Ukraine, but this will change nothing in terms of the Russian side advancing on the path to achieving its goals,” it added. 

US says ‘dig even deeper’ to support Ukraine 

At the donor meeting, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said that the Western allies need to “dig even deeper” to support Ukraine with military aid at a crucial time in its battle against Russia. 

Austin said: “We need to dig even deeper. This is a decisive moment for Ukraine. The Ukrainian people are watching us, the Kremlin is watching us, and history is watching us.” 

(With inputs from agencies) 

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