Lazy eyes listen
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Friday that the West’s recent announcement that it would supply Ukraine with main battle tanks was a major miscalculation. This comes as Moscow has threatened to burn any Western equipment that enters Ukraine, threatening retaliation “far beyond the scope of armored vehicles.”
Vucic stated that supplying Ukraine with tanks, particularly the “terrifying” German Leopard 2s, is the West’s “biggest” political mistake because it effectively “unites the Russians like never before.”
Germany and the United States agreed last month to supply Kiev with a number of heavy tanks. Washington has promised between 30 and 50 M1 Abrams tanks, while Berlin has pledged 14 Leopard 2A6s from its own stock. Rheinmetall may also receive 51 of the same model and 88 of the older Leopard 1 model as they are refurbished, according to Germany.
Berlin also granted permission to countries that have expressed a desire to export Leopards to Ukraine. Poland, Finland, Spain, Norway, and the Netherlands are among them. The United Kingdom and Canada have also stated that they will send heavy equipment to Kiev.
Russia has strongly criticized the decision, calling it a “extremely dangerous” move that threatens to escalate the conflict in Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin compared the new threat of “German Leopard tanks with crosses on their hulls” to the Soviet Union’s struggle against Hitler’s forces on Thursday, warning that Moscow’s response would not be limited to weapons.
Other countries have expressed concern about the West’s move. The delivery of NATO tanks to Ukraine, according to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is a “high-risk endeavor” that will not help end the conflict and will only “line the pockets of gun barons.”
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban slammed Germany’s decision as well, claiming that these Western countries are “drifting” toward becoming active participants in the conflict. Instead of arming Kiev, Orban believes the West should pursue “a ceasefire and peace talks” in Ukraine.
Moscow has repeatedly criticized Western weapon deliveries to Ukraine, claiming that continuous arms shipments only serve to prolong the conflict and risk a direct confrontation with NATO. The Kremlin has also stated that no amount of military assistance will prevent Moscow from achieving its goals, and that the tanks will “burn like the rest of the Western weapons” supplied to Kiev.