Joint statement by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba and the Minister of Defence of Ukraine Oleksii Reznikov regarding the urgency of strengthening Ukraine's defence capabilities

2023-01-19 09:00:00 | ID: 69019

Russia's criminal war of aggression against Ukraine, which has been waged for almost a year, remains the most serious threat to the international security and the single unprecedented challenge to the international community since World War II.

This war poses a particularly acute danger for the Euro-Atlantic community considering Russia's overt goals to destroy the European security order and undermine viability of democracy as a form of social life.

By producing a threat of a global food crisis and bringing about disruptions in international trade, the Russian aggression caused extremely serious consequences for many countries in Africa, Asia and other continents.

Russia has not changed its goals regarding Ukraine, which are to destroy one of the largest states in Europe and exterminate the 45 million-strong Ukrainian nation. Russia carries out its aggression committing numerous war crimes and crimes against humanity, including deliberate killings of civilians, mass rocket attacks on peaceful Ukrainian cities, and targeted destruction of civilian infrastructure.

With its heroic resistance and successful operations to liberate its territories, Ukraine decisively proved its ability to stop the aggressor state. Thanks to the courage and resilience of the Ukrainian people, the heroism and professionalism of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, there is a growing realization around the world that the stronger Ukraine's defence capabilities become, the sooner Russia will come to accepting futility of its attempts to conquer our country and the sooner this cruel war at the heart of Europe will be over.

To date, a lot has been done to strengthen the defence potential of Ukraine. Our country is grateful to more than fifty partner states for their practical military assistance.

However, Russia retains a substantial quantitative advantage in troops, weapons and military equipment. Russian troops continue their offensive in eastern regions of Ukraine. The Kremlin is determined to further escalate hostilities. Prospects of Russia's attempt to take revenge for its failures in its war against Ukraine, including the threat of a new full-scale offensive by the Russian forces, are very real.

That is why we appeal to all partner states that have already provided military assistance or are planning to provide it, with a call to considerably reinforce their practical contribution to strengthening Ukraine's ability to defend itself and bring their assistance to a qualitatively new level.

Today, the improvement of the provision of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with modern armoured vehicles and increasing their fire and manoeuvrability capabilities with the help of Western tanks is one of the most pressing and urgent needs.

We welcome the bold and very timely decision of the United Kingdom to transfer the first squadron of Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine. However, it is not sufficient to achieve operational goals. Therefore, we are addressing our appeal to the states that have Leopard 2 tanks in service, including Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Turkey. We guarantee that we will use these weapons responsibly and exclusively for the purposes of protecting the territorial integrity of Ukraine within internationally recognized borders.

We appeal to all these and other countries possessing appropriate capabilities to join the initiative on establishment of an international tank coalition in support of Ukraine and make their practical contributions to this cause.

We urge you to do this for the sake of millions of peaceful citizens of Ukraine, who will remain in mortal danger from Russia, the aggressor and terrorist state, if the Armed Forces of Ukraine do not receive the necessary reinforcements in a timely manner.

We urge you to do this for the sake of your own citizens, who demand that the terrorist state be stopped so that the crimes it commits do not come to their land and in their homes.

We call for this to be done for the sake of upholding the right of every nation in our world to be the master of its destiny on its own land. For the sake of the triumph of universal human values of our civilization - the values of peace, freedom, and democracy.

Kyiv, 19 January 2023