German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius made an assessment to reporters within the scope of the “Ukraine Defense Contact Group Meeting” hosted by the USA at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.
Pointing out that Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov and US Defense Minister Lloyd Austin had a constructive exchange of views on Ukraine’s needs at the meeting, Pistorius emphasized that Germany is the country that supports Ukraine the most after the USA and England.
Underlining that they will continue to support Ukraine, Pistorius stated that they will start training 100 Ukrainian soldiers in “Leopard 1A5” type tanks as of tomorrow.
Pistorius stated that 80 “Leopard 1” type tanks will be delivered to Ukraine in the middle of this year.
The center will be established near the border with Ukraine.
Pointing out that the materials and vehicles supplied to Ukraine were worn out due to being used in conflicts, Pistorius stated that he and his Polish and Ukrainian counterparts signed an agreement on the establishment of a “repair center” in Poland for Leopard tanks as part of the meeting held in Ramstein.
Pistorius shared the information that the center in question will be established close to the border with Ukraine for the rapid repair and repair of tanks, and stated that the financing of the “repair center”, which is planned to start working next month, will be met by the countries in the contact group.
Emphasizing that air defense is the top priority for Ukraine at the moment, Pistorius said that Germany has recently supplied Ukraine with a second “Iris-T” and Patriot air defense systems with missiles, thus protecting the civilian population in Ukraine and Germany against Russian attacks. He explained that they contributed to the protection of the tanks he gave.
On a question about Ukraine’s possible NATO membership, Pistorius said that now is not the time to discuss it.
Reminding that NATO partners decide who will become a member of the alliance, Pistorius noted that the discussion on an issue should be held at the time of decision.