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Two US House Republicans urge Biden, Scholz to provide critical weapons to Ukraine

by The Kyiv Independent news desk January 19, 2023 6:10 AM 2 min read
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U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, both Republicans, released a statement on Jan. 18 urging the Biden administration and its allies "to transfer to Ukraine urgently critical weapon systems they need to defeat Russia."

“The current handwringing and hesitation by the Biden administration and some of our European allies in providing critical weapon systems to Ukraine stinks of the weak policies of 2021, such as not sanctioning Nord Stream 2 or providing U.S.-origin Stingers before the full-scale invasion. While those policies failed to deter this conflict, the current indecision and self-deterrence will prolong it – costing Ukrainian lives," the statement read.

"Now is the time for the Biden and Scholz governments to follow the lead of our U.K. and Eastern European allies – Leopard 2 tanks, ATACMS, and other long-range precision munitions should be approved without delay.”

The next major U.S. military package to be announced on Jan. 20 for Ukraine may not include American M1 Abrams tanks, according to three undisclosed U.S. officials cited by Politico. Bloomberg reported on Jan. 18 that the package could include Stryker combat vehicles.

Members of the European Parliament on Jan. 18 urged Germany to transfer Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine "without further delay," saying that Ukraine "urgently needs military aid and heavy weaponry to win the war."

But German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Germany would give the go-ahead for German-made Leopard tanks to be sent to Ukraine only if the United States agrees to send its own Abrams tanks, Reuters reported on Jan. 18.

Both Poland and Finland have expressed their readiness to send their Leopard tanks to Ukraine, but since the tanks are produced in Germany, handing them over to Ukraine requires Berlin's approval.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Jan. 16 that “there is no reason to block support for Kyiv and delay it indefinitely,” urging the German government to provide Ukraine with “all types of weapons."

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