Finland’s foreign minister has said he is hopeful a decision will be made to supply German-made Leopard tanks to Ukraine, adding his country stands ready to supply the units.
“We are currently in intensive discussions on what more we can do as the European Union, [and] Nordic countries to help Ukraine,” Pekka Haavisto said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
“The discussion is ongoing about the Leopard tanks. I hope this decision will be made real and Finland definitely is ready to play its part in that support.”
Ukraine hopes German-made Leopard 2 battle tanks will become the backbone of a new fighting force as it seeks to push back invading Russian forces.
Battle tanks manufactured by NATO partners, such as those produced by the United Kingdom and Germany, would give superior protection and more precise firepower to Kyiv’s military.
Ukrainian Civilians Deaths
According to a Ukrainian presidential aide, more than 9,000 civilians, including 453 children, have been killed in Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion last February.
“We have registered 80,000 crimes committed by Russian invaders,” Andriy Yermak, head of the Ukrainian presidential staff, said at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos.
“We will not forgive a single [act of] torture or life taken. Each criminal will be held accountable,” Yermak said, reiterating that Ukraine wants a special international tribunal to try Russian political leaders and reparations for the destruction caused by Moscow’s offensive.
NATO Surveillance Planes
NATO surveillance planes are due to arrive in Romania on Tuesday to bolster the military alliance’s eastern flank and help monitor Russian military activity.
The transatlantic military alliance announced last week that it would deploy the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) surveillance planes to Bucharest, where they will start reconnaissance flights solely over NATO territory.
The aircraft deploying to Romania belong to a fleet of 14 NATO surveillance aircraft usually based in Germany. About 180 military personnel will be deployed in support of the planes.