Ukraine seeks Marder vehicles and Leopard tanks from Berlin, Kuleba says


Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba gestures during a discussion hosted by Hadley Gamble of CNBC at the World Economic Forum 2022 (WEF) in the Alpine resort of Davos, Switzerland May 25, 2022. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - Kyiv seeks to acquire German Marder infantry fighting vehicles and ideally also Leopard main battle tanks but has not made much headway with the government in Berlin so far, Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Wednesday.

"Something that we think is feasible is these Marder armoured vehicles, and our dream, of course, is German Leopard tanks," he told a news conference on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

"But we are not even close to, we are not there."

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who has been criticized for dragging his feet over heavy weapons supplies to Ukraine, is scheduled to address business leaders gathered in the Swiss resort on Thursday.

"We understand it's more difficult for Germany than for others, so we decided to follow this development with a strategic patience," Kuleba said, adding he still did not understand why it was so complicated.

"There is this saga with Gepards, you may need some popcorn to follow it until the end," he added, referring to the delivery of Gepard anti-aircraft tanks that has been envisaged for July.

"Those countries who are dragging their feet with the issue of providing Ukraine with heavy weapons, they have to understand: Every day they spend deciding, weighing different arguments, whether to do it or not, people get killed," he said.

Kuleba, however, welcomed the training of Ukrainian troops on self-propelled howitzers in Germany. Berlin has pledged to send seven of the artillery weapons to Ukraine.

(Reporting by Sabine Siebold; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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