The EU must deliver tanks to Ukraine, demands the President of the European Parliament
European Parliament President Roberta Metsola calls on EU member states to deliver tanks to Ukraine and ‘speed up’ the procedure for that country’s accession to the Union, in an interview on Wednesday (October 6) with AFP, ahead of a summit of October 27
The Maltese official intends to deliver these messages on Friday (October 7) in Prague during a European Council meeting.
“The Ukrainians need weapons to (continue to) retake their territory (…), for example Leopard 2 tanks, which several member states have.”said Ms Metsola in this interview on the sidelines of a plenary session in Strasbourg.
The EPP official (right) became the first president of a European institution to visit Ukraine after Russia broke out the war during a trip to Kyiv on April 1.
Western countries, especially from the EU, are supplying weapons and military equipment to Ukraine, but Kyiv is demanding more, in particular Berlin is demanding the delivery of Leopard 2 tanks. These German-designed main battle tanks are a reference in terms of armor and manoeuvrability.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz, however, did not respond to this request, hoping that such a decision would be made in consultation with his western allies.
According to an EU official, about 2000 tanks of this type are in Germany, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and outside the EU in Norway, Switzerland and Turkey.
According to Ms Metsola, European countries willing to provide these tanks could be reimbursed through common funds such as those of the European Peace Facility, so that the effort is shared by all and not adversely affected “disproportionate” certain countries.
The EU states have already allocated 2.5 billion euros to this intergovernmental fund for arms deliveries to Ukraine.
“I think these are discussions that we need to have now, mainly because we see an escalation from Russia, and on the other hand because we see Ukraine successfully pushing back the Russians.”she commented.
While Ukraine was granted EU candidate status in June, four months after Russia started the war, the President of the European Parliament believes it is necessary “accelerate” the country’s accession process.
Such a process is usually lengthy and difficult, and she does not want to comment on a deadline for integration.
Most “We have a country that has shown us its overwhelming willingness to join us, achieving goals that would take other countries months or years to achieve.”greeted Mrs. Metsola.
She stated that “great progress” have been undertaken by Ukraine to align its national laws with those of the Union, an area where the European Parliament is helping.
The official added that Moldova, which received candidate status at the same time as Ukraine, should not do so “not to forget”.
While the accession process for the Western Balkan countries has been going on for many years, Ms Metsola demanded “More Meetings and Discussions” with these countries to prevent them from doing so “look elsewhere” etc “Find less reliable partners”.
The leaders of these countries are among the 44 leaders who will convene for the first meeting in Prague on Thursday “European Political Community”an idea of French President Emmanuel Macron.
Ms. Metsola pointed out that this forum does not do this “Of course it didn’t replace the EU enlargement process”and it wasn’t “Not to put countries that have left the EU (UK, editor’s note) and others that are fighting to join on the same footing”.
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