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Tank supplies to Kiev unlikely to change situation on ground — French media

According to the source, the window of opportunities for the Ukrainian army "has already closed"

PARIS, January 26. /TASS/. Supplies of heavy tanks to Kiev will only help establish balance but will not change the situation on the ground, France Le Figaro daily said on Wednesday.

"Tanks can help the Ukrainian diminish the burden. But it will not cardinally change the situation," it cited a French military source.

According to the source, the window of opportunities for the Ukrainian army "has already closed," since "the Russian army has begun to strengthen its positions, including near Melitopol and Mariupol complicating any offensives," the daily said.

"It is rather about restoring balance than giving Ukraine means for a victory," according to French General Olivier Kempf, an analyst in the area of geopolitics.

Meanwhile, editor-in-chief of France’s Revue de Defence Nationale journal Jerome Pellistrandi noted that if Kiev accumulates a "critical mass, it will be able to resist Russia’s offensive and, maybe, launch at attack."

Le Figaro noted that amid reports about supplies of German Leopard 2, US M1 Abrams and British Challenger 2 tanks to Kiev, Paris is dodging clarity on possible supplies of French Leclerc tanks. The newspaper’s sources in the French army said that "such a present for the Ukrainians" is out of question. The French army, according to the paper, doesn’t want to strip itself of such weapons although the government continues to say cautiously that such supplies "are not excluded."

On Wednesday, the United States announced its plans to supply 31 Mi Abrams tanks to Kiev, while the German government confirmed its intention to send 14 Leopard 2 tanks from its own reserves and to allow reexport from other countries. Plans to send tanks to Ukraine were also announced by Norway and Slovakia. Earlier, the United Kingdom, France and Poland announced their decisions to supply Kiev with tanks.