‘Risky’ to send tanks to Ukraine, Erdogan says

2 February, 12:11 AM
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (Photo:Presidential Press Office/Handout via REUTERS)

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (Photo:Presidential Press Office/Handout via REUTERS)

Supplying Ukraine with tanks will not solve the problems presented by the Russian invasion, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Turkish news outlet Hurriyet on Feb. 1.

He said that Turkey has been in the vanguard of international efforts to resolve various crises produced by Russia’s war against Ukraine: mediating the Black Sea grain deal, POW exchanges, and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

At the same time, Erdogan suggested that providing heavy tanks to Ukraine’s Armed Forces is “risky,” and will not expedite dealing with war-related problems.

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“We expect the world and Europe to support the peace (effort),” said Erdogan.

“Negotiations continue…; I wouldn’t say that (sending tanks) is part of the solution. It’s risky and beneficial to arms barons.”

On Jan. 25, Germany finally announced the decision to provide German-made Leopard-2 main battle tanks to Ukraine, and allowed third countries to do the same. The United States announced it will send 31 M1 Abrams tanks, as well.

In December, 2022, interview with The Economist, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, said Ukraine would need at least 300 modern tanks to restore its pre-invasion borders.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba earlier said Ukraine will initially receive 120-140 tanks from at least 12 of its international partners.

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