Mykhailo Podolyak, assistant to the Ukrainian president, says that the Ukrainian government is close to reaching an agreement with Berlin on the delivery of Western battle tanks and infantry fighting vehicles.
In an interview with Welt am Sonntag Podolyak told the newspaper that progress had been made in the talks between the two countries.
“I think we will find a consensus with our German partners on the tanks,” he said, adding: “We are ready to pay any price for the security of Europe.” But help us with weapons.”
Ukraine has repeatedly asked for modern tanks as it seeks to regain territory in the south and east of the country.
“Germany could best help us in this with the Leopard and Marder tanks,” said Podolyak.
Berlin has so far rejected those requests, saying no other ally has yet provided Western dragons.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Germany has sent Ukraine 30 decommissioned Gepard anti-aircraft tanks, 10 Panzerhaubitze 2000 howitzers and three Mars missile launchers. Berlin has also been involved in arms exchanges with third countries. For example, earlier this week Germany delivered the first six of a total of 40 Marders to Greece. According to that agreement, Greece then sent more tanks to Ukraine.
Here are other top headlines from the war in Ukraine on Sunday, October 30:
EU urges Russia to rejoin Ukraine grain export deal
The European Union has criticized Russia for pulling out of a key deal that allowed grain to be exported from Ukraine.
Moscow announced the decision on Saturday, citing what it said was a Ukrainian drone attack on its Black Sea fleet in the Crimean city of Sevastopol. They also pointed to Britain as being involved in the attack, without providing details.
“Russia’s decision to suspend participation in the Black Sea Treaty puts at risk a key export route for grain and fertilizer that is badly needed to deal with the food crisis caused by its war on Ukraine,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell tweeted. “EU urges Russia to withdraw its decision.”
The UN-brokered Black Sea agreement was reached in July, ending a blockade that had prevented grain from leaving Ukrainian ports following the Russian invasion. The halt in exports had raised concerns about food security and famine in countries dependent on Ukrainian grain.
More than 9 million tons of Ukrainian grain had already been exported under the agreement.
Russia strongly criticized for the suspension of the grain agreement
Russia’s ambassador to Washington came under fire on Sunday following Moscow’s decision to withdraw from the grain export agreement with Ukraine.
Earlier, US President Joe Biden said Russia’s actions were “simply outrageous” and would increase famine.
Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov said Washington’s response to the “terrorist attack on the port of Sevastopol was truly disgraceful”.
“We have not seen any signs of condemnation of the reckless actions of the Kyiv government,” he wrote on Telegram.
Antonov also repeated Russian claims that “British military experts” helped Ukraine carry out the drone attack on the Crimean port.
Britain has firmly denied the allegation, saying “the Russian Ministry of Defense is resorting to peddling false claims on an epic scale”. The French in particular rejected the demands as unfounded.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Moscow would raise the alleged drone strike at the United Nations Security Council.
Wagner group uses sick prisoners in Ukraine: UK Ministry of Defence
The Wagner mercenary group fighting alongside Russian forces in Ukraine is now recruiting “prisoners with serious illnesses,” according to the latest assessment by British intelligence.
An update by the British Ministry of Defense says that Yevgeny Prigozhin, Wagner’s commander, may be considering using the recruits to build up a so-called “Wagner Line” defensive position in eastern Ukraine.
It said the conditions for the entry of new fighters had been significantly reduced following heavy losses on the battlefield.
Ukraine launched a major counter-offensive in the east of the country last month in an attempt to retake territory illegally annexed by Russia.
More DW content about the war in Ukraine
About one million Ukrainian refugees have been registered in Germany. Finding housing for these newcomers, and providing adequate education and health care, is pushing some cities to their limits.
nm/dj (AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)