Ambassador Prystaiko: UK to send Ukraine twice as many Challenger 2 tanks as pledged

Ambassador Prystaiko: UK to send Ukraine twice as many Challenger 2 tanks as pledged

After the visit of President Volodymyr Zelensky to the United Kingdom, it was agreed that Great Britain will provide Ukraine with twice as many Challenger 2 tanks as previously pledged. At the same time, Britain is gradually forming a consensus within NATO regarding the transfer of fighter jets to Kyiv.

"If we are talking about military training, then we asked for one scope, and now Britain offers us to increase it 2.5-fold this year. So there is an increase of 250%. The issue of some of the weapons we asked for, aircraft for example, is complicated. We are looking for options. Speaking of [Challenger 2] tanks, then 14 tanks were pledged. And following President Zelensky's visit, it was agreed to double this number," Ambassador of Ukraine to the United Kingdom Vadym Prystaiko told RFE/RL’s Donbas.Realities project in an interview.

At the same time, in his opinion, the statements by the British authorities that Ukraine can receive Eurofighter aircraft "only in peacetime" are "an attempt to be frank in communication and not to scare the allies."

"It’s an attempt to facilitate a consensus as Britain often does in NATO. To provide such complex equipment as fighter jets that need to be maintained, pilots and technicians must be trained, to [understand] where, who, and how it is used in a multi-vector war, the interaction of many allies is required. So Great Britain is gradually forming a consensus," the diplomat said.

He recalled that there was a similar situation with the supply of tanks: "there was a breakthrough moment when it was necessary to overcome the reluctance of all other allies."

"And if you remember, even though the announcement was made, it took almost a week for the Prime Minister [Rishi Sunak] to officially confirm it," Prystaiko recalled.

According to him, with the supply of tanks, Britain tried to convince the allies that there were two options for the developments. "Either Britain makes this announcement alone and leads the way that everyone else has to follow, or this very important step is taken by all together as one front, as NATO. Britain was successful then. I think the same process is happening now with fighter jets," Prystaiko concluded.

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