Live Updates: Russia’s War in Ukraine

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has insisted Western main battle tanks will only be deployed on Ukrainian territory, brushing aside Kremlin accusations that the decision to send advanced weapons was making the war worse.

In an interview with the Sunday newspaper Bild am Sonntag published online, Scholz said “there is a consensus” that Western tanks will not be deployed on Russian territory.

Kremlin officials have sought to present the tank dispatch as an act of aggression against Moscow, fueling their false narrative that their so-called military operation is necessary to defend Russian interests rather than capture Ukraine.

Scholz said he repeatedly told Russian President Vladimir Putin that “Russia alone is responsible for the war. Russia invaded its neighboring country without provocation in order to take control of parts of Ukraine or the whole country.

“This fundamentally violates the European peace order… (that’s why we support Ukraine financially, humanitarianly and with weapons,” Scholz added, defending his country’s position to send Leopard battle tanks 2 in Ukraine.

“We (and our allies) are giving battle tanks to Ukraine so they can defend themselves,” he said.

Scholz said Germany and its allies were working “carefully” together to weigh arms deliveries in a “joint approach” to prevent an escalation of the war.

It took weeks of geopolitical wrangling before Germany bowed to mounting pressure from allies to supply its own leopards. Last month, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said they needed more time before making a decision because tanks are heavy armored weapons that can be used for offensive purposes.

Ukrainian officials have relentlessly pleaded with their allies for modern battle tanks to replace their Soviet-era tanks, and are now ready to receive more than 300 tanks from Western countries.


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