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France to Send Radars To Kyiv, Russia Vows Arms Delivery Continues

Russia warned on Wednesday that the possible delivery of long-range missiles to Ukraine by the United States and Europe “will not change” its offensive on Ukrainian territory, while France agreed to send anti-aircraft radars to kyiv.

The supply of missiles with a range of 150 kilometers would lead “to an increase in tensions, an escalation” of the conflict, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitri Peskov said.

“It would mean additional efforts for us, but it will not change the course of events, the special military operation will continue,” he added, according to the AFP news agency.

For months, Ukraine has been asking for hundreds of modern heavy tanks, missiles with a range of more than 100 kilometers and planes to be able to carry out counteroffensives capable of reconquering the Ukrainian territories occupied by Russia.

US President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that he would speak with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, about his arms needs.

Ukraine says it needs high-precision missiles with a range of more than 100 kilometers to destroy Russia’s supply lines and ammunition depots, the only way kyiv can overcome its troop and weapons deficit.

Until now, its Western allies have refused to hand over those systems for fear of provoking a further escalation of the Russian offensive.

But after weeks of doubt, the Europeans and Americans have given the go-ahead for deliveries of modern heavy tanks, though the number remains below what Ukraine is claiming.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmitri Kuleba said on Tuesday they will receive between 120 and 140 modern tanks of western models – Leopard 2, Challenger 2, M1 Abrams and perhaps also Leclerc – in a first phase of deliveries.

Reznikov himself announced it on Twitter, who also met with President Emmanuel Macron, whom he thanked for sending light combat vehicles, according to the Europa Press agency.

These supplies for Ukraine demonstrate “a direct implication” of the West in the conflict, Russia said, which also warned that this type of shipment could represent an escalation in the conflict.

The United States announced the plan to donate 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine.

France has not yet decided to go along with sending Leclerc tanks, but Macron said he was not ruling out any possibility.

Spain plans a first shipment of four to six Leopard 2A4 tanks to Ukraine, the newspaper El País reported citing government sources.

Shipment of Western-Designed Tanks to Ukraine

The United Kingdom was the first country to announce the shipment of Western-designed tanks to Ukraine. In mid-January it became known that the British will make 14 Challenger 2 available to kyiv.

Germany, meanwhile, confirmed that it will send 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, in addition to authorizing the supply of these vehicles from other countries.

The Defense Minister, Boris Pistorius, reviewed this morning, in the Augustdorf battalion, in the north of the country, the tanks that the government agreed to send to Ukraine, in a ceremony with the presence of the press.

But both the head of government, Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and Pistorius himself pointed out that Germany “is not going to supply Ukraine with fighters.”

“I don’t think it’s right to supply Ukraine with fighter jets, and not right now, but in general,” Deputy Foreign Minister Rober Habeck added.

Habeck stressed the importance of “not leading Germany and all of Europe into war.”

According to the Kremlin, these tanks “will burn like the others.”

Russia has repeatedly warned that NATO countries are “playing with fire” by supplying arms to kyiv, and that foreign arms convoys would be a “legitimate target” for its military just across the border.

Meanwhile, the Austrian leader, Alexander Van der Bellen, visiting kyiv, emphasized today the defense of European values.

Van der Bellen called the Russian aggression “crimes against humanity that must not be forgotten and go unpunished” during a brief visit to Bucha, on the outskirts of kyiv.

For his part, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was considering delivering military aid to Ukraine and serving as a mediator, after the United States called for more active engagement from Western allies.

Netanyahu made no firm commitments to Ukraine and Israel maintains its relationship with Russia, which controls the skies over neighboring Syria and has ignored Israeli attacks on targets of its arch-enemy Iran.

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that he would travel to Ukraine to reopen his embassy.

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