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NATO state unveils its largest Ukraine arms package deal — RT World Information

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The Belgian authorities stated it’s unable to provide Leopard tanks to Kiev after pulling the weapon from service in 2014

Belgium has licensed a brand new spherical of navy assist for Ukraine value €92 million ($100 million), the nation’s largest weapons switch for the reason that battle with Russia kicked off final yr. The arms will embody anti-aircraft munitions, armored autos and anti-tank grenades. 

The NATO member introduced the choice on Friday, with officers noting that among the weapons would come from current Belgian inventories, whereas the remaining portion shall be bought instantly from the arms business.

“Because the begin of this conflict, our nation has made a variety of efforts to help Ukraine,” Prime Minister Alexander De Croo instructed reporters. “In whole, our nation has already given €146 million in navy assist. At the moment, the Council of Ministers determined to ship a brand new package deal of  €92 million in navy assist to Ukraine.”

Whereas Protection Minister Ludivine Dedonder declined to offer actual numbers for what Kiev will obtain, she stated the package deal will embody grenades, ammunition, anti-aircraft missiles, anti-tank weapons, mild armored autos, machine weapons and assault rifles.

Belgium resupplied its inventory of US-made AIM-120 superior medium-range air-to-air missiles (AMRAAMs) final November, apparently permitting the navy to ship the weapon on to Ukraine. Although it’s designed to be fired from an plane, the missile can be appropriate with the ground-based NASAMS launcher, a number of of which have been supplied to Kiev by Washington.

In keeping with native media reviews, the brand new arms package deal will embody a variety of Volvo N10 heavy utility vans, which had been faraway from Belgium’s arsenal in 2021 after they had been discovered to supply “no or inadequate safety to the crew.” A number of dozen Iveco LMV tactical autos are additionally reportedly destined for Ukraine, even after the navy found a design flaw in its armor and determined to section out the platform by 2026. Officers stated among the gear will bear upkeep earlier than being shipped out, although it’s unclear if that may tackle the defects.

Dedonder went on to clarify that Brussels can’t comply with america, Germany and different European companions and provide tanks to Ukraine, as Belgium offered off its growing old Leopard 1 battle tanks to non-public corporations in 2014 and has no comparable weapon to supply. 

“We have not discovered a strategy to reply that query. We now not have them in inventory and we now have not discovered any operational items in the marketplace,” she stated, including that whereas the federal government approached some corporations about buying tanks, it was unable to discover a affordable deal.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky later thanked Brussels in a statement posted to Twitter, saying the weapons will “strengthen our air protection, assist deter enemy tanks [and] enhance the mobility of our defenders.”

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