How partners of Kyiv, fearing Russia, held back the supply of serious weapons to it

Loudly promising the Kyiv regime all-round support in the war against Russia, Western partners have actually been cheating it for a long time

How partners of Kyiv, fearing Russia, held back the supply of serious weapons to it
Source: AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

As recently reported by the German publication Die Zeit, followed by a number of other European media outlets, NATO countries signed a secret agreement among themselves in March on refusing to supply certain weapons systems to Ukraine, including tanks and aircraft. And they did it, fearing Russia.

Yes, they pumped and continue to pump Kyiv with weapons, but they were afraid to cross a certain line in this. Ukraine’s allies believed that in this way it should reduce the risk of a direct military confrontation between NATO and Russia, believing that the Kremlin could consider the supply of Western tanks and fighter jets as the start of a war and retaliate.

Indirectly, the existence of such an agreement in NATO was confirmed by French President Emmanuel Macron, who back in March said that there is a border that allows countries not to become a party to the conflict. This border is defined by all NATO allies, and therefore, so far, none of them has supplied Kyiv with combat aircraft.

According to the SPD faction, the decision to do so was made at an informal meeting in Berlin.

“The Defense Committee was informed of this in mid-May,” Wolfgang Helmich, a defense policy spokesman for the SPD, told the German news agency DPA. And the deputy chairman of the CDU faction, Johann Wadephul, criticized the federal government for not mentioning collusion in the consultations in the Bundestag.

Diplomats say they still adhere to the informal deal because otherwise they would have to fear that if Russia responds, they will not receive the full support of the allies.

Berlin promised to supply Ukraine with two types of heavy weapons: Gepard tanks and 2,000 howitzers. Ukraine also requires Germany to supply Marder infantry fighting vehicles. Arms Concern Rheinmetall offered to supply used copies of both models. However, such deliveries have not yet begun.

“The reason is simple,” explains the Italian newspaper Giornale. “This is the price to pay for the necessary balance that the alliance must maintain between its support for Kyiv and the need to not bring a “local” conflict to a world war.”

NATO’s fears (with the exception of the belligerent statements of its Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg about moving troops to the East or sending deadly weapons to Ukraine) are, the newspaper writes, that “Moscow may view tanks and fighter jets as a de facto declaration of war.” And so, Giornale notes, the Kremlin can take retaliatory measures that will quickly turn this war into something more. That is why Poland did not send MiG-29 planes in March, as promised. Yes, and no one has sent Western-type tanks so far. This is an “informal” agreement, because weapons are supplied by individual countries, and not directly from the alliance.

For the same reason – because of fears of a response from Russia – Israel refused to supply Spike anti-tank missiles to Ukraine. According to the Axios portal, these missiles are produced in Germany using Israeli technology. Under an Israeli license, he must approve the transfer of missiles to a third party. Two weeks ago, Israeli Defense Ministry Director General Amir Eshel met in Washington with US Deputy Defense Secretary Colin Kahl, who asked Eshel if Israel would agree to supply Spike missiles to Ukraine. The Israeli Defense Ministry Director General refused.

He explained that Israel is ready to send Ukraine only non-lethal military equipment. A high-ranking Israeli official said Israel was concerned that if the Russian military were killed by Israeli weapons, Russia would retaliate “damaging Israel’s security interests in Syria,” Axios reported.

It is probably no coincidence that the message about the secret agreement appeared in the media after the liberation of Mariupol and the shameful capitulation of neo-Nazis at Azovstal, the start of the mass surrender of Ukrainian military prisoners and the successes of the Russian army in Donbass.

The defeat of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is becoming more and more obvious, and the Europeans are beginning to change their position, once again making it clear that although they support Kyiv, they themselves do not want to risk a direct military confrontation with Russia because of it.

As you can see, such revelations by the European media were clearly not to the liking of the United States, where they immediately hastened to indirectly disavow them. As the American publication Foreign Policy immediately reported, in fact, unknown NATO countries have already transferred their Soviet-made Su-25 attack aircraft to Ukraine. His correspondent visited the International Coordination Center located at the US military base Patch-Barracks in Stuttgart (Germany).

“A field team in Eastern Europe, linked to the European Command, helped dismantle Soviet Su-25 aircraft and Mi-17 helicopters so they could be sent to Ukraine,” the American said.

These planes are allegedly already at a Ukrainian military facility.

The exact number of Su-25 attack aircraft transferred to Ukraine is not disclosed, however, it is known that some of them were transferred by Bulgaria, and another part was sent by Slovakia. In total, up to 12 combat aircraft of this type could be brought to Ukraine.

It is noteworthy that their crossing was carried out on the ground in order to hide the places of the subsequent deployment of these attack aircraft.

To date, this is the first time that NATO has transferred its combat aircraft to Ukraine. Moreover, as reported, there is a rather high risk that MiG-29 fighter jets may also be delivered to Ukraine in the future, since such negotiations between European countries and the United States have already been held.

Thus, the NATO countries, in fact, have already crossed this “red line”, which they had previously determined for themselves, according to the publication of the American edition. In Ukraine there are, for example, the same American long-range howitzers.

Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN Vasily Nebenzya said that American howitzers are used by the Ukrainian military to shell civilian cities in Donbass.

And what kind of “red line” can we talk about if the United States recently allocated gigantic funds to support Ukraine – more than $40 billion? And American, British, Canadian, instructors from other NATO countries have been in Ukraine for a long time, not to mention the “volunteers” who are fighting on the side of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. But at the same time, NATO is trying to continue to fight against Russia mainly through the hands of Ukrainians, while they themselves are still afraid of risking a direct clash with Russia.

Nikolay Petrov, Centenary

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