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Zelensky's plea for "immediate" help from allies as pressure mounts on Germany to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine
20 January 2023, 10:20 | Updated: 20 January 2023, 10:27
Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky has appealed to Germany for "immediate" help in providing tanks, as defence allies met to discuss military support amid the ongoing war with Russia.
Pressure is building on German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to assist in the European nation's defence by sending Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, with the nation reportedly hesitant about triggering a World War Three scenario.
Talks involving 50 countries are currently taking place at the Ramstein air base in Germany.
"Russia want to destroy universal human values," Zelensky warned in his address to allied leaders.
"You and I have to speed up...we have to do it," he said, calling for "immediate help" in his country's defence efforts.
"Hatred will always will lose," he added as part of his address.
It comes as defence secretary Ben Wallace said Berlin's hesitation in sending the armoured vehicles followed worries such a move could trigger a World War Three.
Wallace added Berlin’s primary concern was the European nation would be “going it alone” if they approved the movement of Leopard 2 battle tanks to the area.
He also thanked those who helped to defend Ukraine by providing ammunitions and equipment.
"If you have Leopard [tanks], then give them to us," Mr Zelensky said on Thursday on German television.
"These leopards won't go through Russia. We're defending ourselves," he said, as part of his criticism of the country's hesitation to send the vehicles.
Noting "hundreds" of tanks are required in the war stricken country, Zelensky's comments followed US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin's latest military support package for Ukraine.
Listing equipment the US would be sending to Ukraine, a list that including powerful Patriot air-defence systems, armoured personnel carriers and large amounts of ammunition.
11 months after Russia launched its assault on Ukraine, it's believed Moscow is set to launch a fresh offensive in the spring, with Ukraine asking for assistance ahead of further conflict escalation.