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Ukraine: Zelensky discusses 'special platform’ to supply Kiev with tanks during talks with Finnish president03:56

Ukraine: Zelensky discusses 'special platform’ to supply Kiev with tanks during talks with Finnish president

Ukraine, Kiev
January 24, 2023 at 16:30 GMT +00:00 · Published

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he had discussed creating a 'special platform' for the supply of armoured vehicles to Kiev, during talks with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto in Kiev on Tuesday.

"The Russian leadership is preparing for revenge, but it is also obvious that the terrorist state must lose," he claimed. "We discussed what exactly is needed for this on the battlefield for our country. In this context, we discussed Finland's participation in the coalition of countries to provide Ukraine with modern Western tanks."

"We talked about the creation of a special platform to strengthen Ukraine with armoured vehicles, including tanks. I am very pleased that Finland will take its place there," Zelensky continued.

Niinisto also referred to the proposal, saying the platform would need to co-ordinate supply rather than rely on the current 'ad hoc' approach.

"We have to keep in mind that this is a further discussion that covers tanks, it is about such a unit more than taking a tank here, one there, one there. That is not enough. There has to be a strong unit in Europe. We will discuss the possibility of forming such a unit," he said.

The UK has announced it will send 14 Challenger 2 tanks to Kiev. German has come under increasing pressure to make a decision on sending its own Leopard 2 vehicles - or allow other countries like Poland to send their stocks.

On Sunday, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Berlin would not 'stand in the way' of others, although government officials backtracked the following day, saying no decisions had been taken.

Moscow claims new weapons deliveries from Western countries would only prolong the conflict and wouldn’t change the outcome.

Zelensky also use the press briefing to respond to comments by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who alleged that he had been offered a 'non-aggression pact' by Ukraine.

"We were not going to and are not going to attack Belarus," the Ukrainian leader said. "And this is the main signal from the entire Ukrainian people to the Belarusian people. It is very important for us that Belarus does not lose its independence and does not enter into this absolutely shameful war, regardless of any influence from anyone."

Ninisto also spoke of his country’s NATO bid, saying that "we need to wait for the results of the elections in Turkey and then move on." Ankara has postponed ratification of both Finland and Sweden’s membership applications, demanding action on Kurdish groups that it considers 'terrorists'.

Ukraine: Zelensky discusses 'special platform’ to supply Kiev with tanks during talks with Finnish president03:56
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he had discussed creating a 'special platform' for the supply of armoured vehicles to Kiev, during talks with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto in Kiev on Tuesday.

"The Russian leadership is preparing for revenge, but it is also obvious that the terrorist state must lose," he claimed. "We discussed what exactly is needed for this on the battlefield for our country. In this context, we discussed Finland's participation in the coalition of countries to provide Ukraine with modern Western tanks."

"We talked about the creation of a special platform to strengthen Ukraine with armoured vehicles, including tanks. I am very pleased that Finland will take its place there," Zelensky continued.

Niinisto also referred to the proposal, saying the platform would need to co-ordinate supply rather than rely on the current 'ad hoc' approach.

"We have to keep in mind that this is a further discussion that covers tanks, it is about such a unit more than taking a tank here, one there, one there. That is not enough. There has to be a strong unit in Europe. We will discuss the possibility of forming such a unit," he said.

The UK has announced it will send 14 Challenger 2 tanks to Kiev. German has come under increasing pressure to make a decision on sending its own Leopard 2 vehicles - or allow other countries like Poland to send their stocks.

On Sunday, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Berlin would not 'stand in the way' of others, although government officials backtracked the following day, saying no decisions had been taken.

Moscow claims new weapons deliveries from Western countries would only prolong the conflict and wouldn’t change the outcome.

Zelensky also use the press briefing to respond to comments by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who alleged that he had been offered a 'non-aggression pact' by Ukraine.

"We were not going to and are not going to attack Belarus," the Ukrainian leader said. "And this is the main signal from the entire Ukrainian people to the Belarusian people. It is very important for us that Belarus does not lose its independence and does not enter into this absolutely shameful war, regardless of any influence from anyone."

Ninisto also spoke of his country’s NATO bid, saying that "we need to wait for the results of the elections in Turkey and then move on." Ankara has postponed ratification of both Finland and Sweden’s membership applications, demanding action on Kurdish groups that it considers 'terrorists'.