Supporters of Ukraine pledged billions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine during a meeting at the Ramstein airbase in Germany on Friday. International defense leaders discussed Ukraine’s urgent request for Leopard 2 tanks, with the lack of a deal overshadowing the new commitments.
Germany is a major arms donor to Ukraine and has ordered a review of its Leopard 2 stocks in preparation for a possible green light. Nonetheless, the Berlin government has shown caution at every step in increasing its military aid to Ukraine, a hesitancy seen as ingrained in its history and political culture.
Moscow, in response to promises of sophisticated Western weapons for Kyiv’s military, has intensified its warnings that the escalation risks catastrophe.
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on Monday reaffirmed Moscow’s claim that Western supplies could have «unpredictable» consequences.
“We have said on numerous occasions that climbing is the most dangerous path and the consequences can be unpredictable,” Ryabkov said. «Our signals go unheeded and Russia’s adversaries keep raising the stakes.»
With the battlefield positions of both sides mostly at a standstill during the winter months, Kremlin forces have kept up their shelling raids on Ukrainian areas.
Kharkiv Governor Oleh Synyehubov said on Monday that Russian forces shelled several towns and villages in the northeastern region over the past 24 hours, killing a 67-year-old woman and wounding another resident.
Neither side shows any signs of backing down as the war stretches into a second year.
The Kremlin is keeping its options open to mobilize more soldiers. The Russian authorities declared the mobilization of an additional 300,000 reservists complete at the end of October. However, some Russian rights groups and lawyers have pointed out that Putin’s mobilization decree remains in effect until another presidential decree is issued to formally end the action.
Peskov said on Monday that although the assigned number of reservists has been mobilized, the decree remains in effect because it also includes «other necessary measures to ensure the fulfillment of tasks by the military.» He did not elaborate.
Ukrainian officials have repeatedly warned about Russia’s plans to continue mobilizing more troops.