Italy will not supply tanks to Ukraine. This was stated by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Italy Antonio Tajani on Thursday, February 2.
“We have always sent defensive weapons to Ukraine, not offensive ones. We did not send tanks and will not send them, ”the politician said on the air of the Rai Italia TV channel.
Tajani added that Italy intends to continue sending electrical equipment to restore the Ukrainian energy system.
During the conversation, the minister also expressed concerns about a possible escalation of the conflict. Tajani recalled that one should be open to dialogue and expressed the hope that peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv would begin in 2023.
Earlier in the day, it became known that Spain would not transfer Leopard tanks to Ukraine due to their poor condition. Instead, Madrid will send 20 M113 armored personnel carriers to Kyiv.
Prior to this, on January 30, Hungarian Defense Minister Krysztof Salay-Bobrovnicki, following negotiations with his Austrian counterpart Claudia Tanner, said that Austria and Hungary would not send weapons to Ukraine in order to avoid an escalation of the conflict.
On January 25, US President Joe Biden announced the delivery of 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine. On the same day, the German government announced a decision to transfer Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.
The FRG is ready to form two tank battalions, and at the first stage, Berlin will send a company of 14 tanks. Following the decision of Berlin, plans to supply tanks to Ukraine were announced in Finland, Portugal, the Netherlands and Norway.
Moscow has repeatedly condemned the supply of arms to Ukraine. So, on January 29, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that such a step by the US authorities as the supply of tanks to Kyiv is “extremely destructive”, pointing out that the White House does not stop trying to “implement a pronounced escalation scenario in Ukraine.”
In turn, the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov in the same month stated that Russia perceives the supply of Western tanks to Ukraine as the participation of NATO countries in the conflict against the Russian Federation.
Western countries have stepped up military and financial support for the Ukrainian side against the backdrop of a special operation to protect Donbass. Russia announced its beginning on February 24, 2022. This decision was made by Russian President Vladimir Putin against the backdrop of the aggravated situation in the LDNR due to increased shelling by Ukrainian troops.