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Russia: Possible deliveries of Leopard tanks 'do not bode well' for relations between Russia and Germany - Peskov01:24

Russia: Possible deliveries of Leopard tanks 'do not bode well' for relations between Russia and Germany - Peskov

Russian Federation, Moscow
January 24, 2023 at 14:51 GMT +00:00 · Published

Presidential Press Secretary Dmitri Peskov claimed that potential deliveries of Leopard 2 tanks from Germany to Ukraine did 'not bode well' for relations between Moscow and Berlin, during a press briefing in the Russian capital on Tuesday.

"Relations are already at quite a low point and there is no substantive dialogue with Germany and with the other countries of the European Union and the North Atlantic alliance. Certainly such deliveries do not bode well for future relations. They will certainly leave an imminent mark on the future of that relationship," he stated.

Germany had delayed taking a decision on sending its tanks - or allowing others to send their supplies - although Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock had suggested it would not 'stand in the way' of countries like Poland.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that a decision by Berlin would taken imminently, during a joint press briefing with Defence Minister Boris Pistorius on Tuesday.

"I welcome also the clear message from the minister that our other allies, other NATO allies that have Leopard battle tanks are of course free to identify those Leopard battle tanks that may be available for Ukraine," said Stoltenberg.

He added that countries could "start training of Ukrainian crews for those battle tanks", because the process took time.

The Kremlin spokesperson also commented on Estonia's plans to introduce a 'contiguous' zone in the Gulf of Finland for the inspection of ships.

"The international law of the sea does apply here and we have proceed from this. Therefore, freedom of navigation is ensured by this law and we assume that it will continue to be so," Peskov said.

On January 14, the Estonian Foreign Ministry proposed the creation of the zone in territorial waters. According to Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu, it would make it possible to monitor compliance at a distance of up to 24 nautical miles from the baseline of the country's inland waters.

Moscow launched a military offensive in Ukraine in late February 2022 after recognising the independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR), claiming that Kiev had failed to guarantee their special status under the 2014 Minsk Agreements, and urging Ukraine to declare itself officially neutral and give assurances that it would never join NATO.

Kiev denounced the Russian action as an invasion. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky imposed martial law throughout the country, announcing a general mobilisation, while the EU and US imposed several rounds of sanctions on Moscow.

Russia: Possible deliveries of Leopard tanks 'do not bode well' for relations between Russia and Germany - Peskov01:24
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Presidential Press Secretary Dmitri Peskov claimed that potential deliveries of Leopard 2 tanks from Germany to Ukraine did 'not bode well' for relations between Moscow and Berlin, during a press briefing in the Russian capital on Tuesday.

"Relations are already at quite a low point and there is no substantive dialogue with Germany and with the other countries of the European Union and the North Atlantic alliance. Certainly such deliveries do not bode well for future relations. They will certainly leave an imminent mark on the future of that relationship," he stated.

Germany had delayed taking a decision on sending its tanks - or allowing others to send their supplies - although Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock had suggested it would not 'stand in the way' of countries like Poland.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that a decision by Berlin would taken imminently, during a joint press briefing with Defence Minister Boris Pistorius on Tuesday.

"I welcome also the clear message from the minister that our other allies, other NATO allies that have Leopard battle tanks are of course free to identify those Leopard battle tanks that may be available for Ukraine," said Stoltenberg.

He added that countries could "start training of Ukrainian crews for those battle tanks", because the process took time.

The Kremlin spokesperson also commented on Estonia's plans to introduce a 'contiguous' zone in the Gulf of Finland for the inspection of ships.

"The international law of the sea does apply here and we have proceed from this. Therefore, freedom of navigation is ensured by this law and we assume that it will continue to be so," Peskov said.

On January 14, the Estonian Foreign Ministry proposed the creation of the zone in territorial waters. According to Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu, it would make it possible to monitor compliance at a distance of up to 24 nautical miles from the baseline of the country's inland waters.

Moscow launched a military offensive in Ukraine in late February 2022 after recognising the independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR), claiming that Kiev had failed to guarantee their special status under the 2014 Minsk Agreements, and urging Ukraine to declare itself officially neutral and give assurances that it would never join NATO.

Kiev denounced the Russian action as an invasion. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky imposed martial law throughout the country, announcing a general mobilisation, while the EU and US imposed several rounds of sanctions on Moscow.