BERLIN, February 27. /TASS/. Berlin’s decision to supply Leopard tanks to Kiev is extremely dangerous as it brings the conflict up to a higher level of escalation, Russian Ambassador to Germany Sergey Nechayev said on Sunday.
"The German government not merely approved supplies of Leopard heavy tanks to Kiev but also gave its consent to other countries, which have these lethal vehicles, to reexport them to Ukraine," he said in an interview with RT DE.
This decision "violated an unshakable rule, which have served as a fundamental principle of Germany’s foreign policy over the post-war decades and which envisages a ban on supplies of German weapons to conflict zones," he stressed. "We consider this decision as extremely dangerous. It openly brings the conflict up to a new level of escalation and runs counter to German politicians’ previous statements on Germany’s reluctance to become a party to it."
As a matter of fact, Berlin’s actions mean that Germany refuses from the "recognition of its historic responsibility before the Russian people for the Nazi atrocities and crimes during the Great Patriotic War (the Eastern Front during WWII where the former Soviet Union fought against Nazi Germany - TASS), which have no period of limitations," Nechayev said. "It is not customary now to remember the Germans’ feeling of gratitude to our people for the liberation of Germany from Nazism, the post-war reconciliation, the unification of Germany, where our country played a crucial role too."
On January 25, the German government announced that it planned to supply Ukraine with 14 Leopard 2 tanks and to allow re-export of such tanks from other countries. On February 7, the German government approved supplies of 178 Leopard 1A5 tanks from the country’s industrial reserves. According to Pistorius, German tanks are expected to reach Ukraine in the last week of March at the latest.
Meanwhile, Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow considers supplies of Western weapons to Ukraine as the West’s growing involvement into the conflict in Ukraine.