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British Army chief comments on tanks for Ukraine — RT World News

Sending Challengers to Kyiv will weaken the UK, but it’s worth it, General Sir Patrick Sanders has warned

While applauding the promised delivery of Challenger 2 tanks to the Kyiv government, the British Army Chief of Staff warned on Monday that the move would have a negative effect on its combat readiness and called for more funding for them. weapons.

Sending 14 tanks to Ukraine will leave the British Army “temporarily weaker” General Sir Patrick Sanders wrote in an internal memo, according to public broadcaster BBC.

“There is no doubt that our choice will have an impact on our ability to mobilize the military against the acute and persistent threat posed by Russia and to meet our obligations to NATO,” he added. Sanders noted, adding that it was vital that the military “fighting ability” be restored quickly.

However, he also argued that Ukraine would put the tanks to “good use” and that help them defeat Russia “makes us safer.”

Sanders took over as army chief of staff in June last year and immediately argued that Britain’s ground forces should be “capable of fighting alongside our allies and defeating Russia in combat.”

Britain has pledged to send Ukraine 14 of the Challenger 2s, in the first delivery of Western-made main battle tanks since the conflict escalated in February 2022. London has also pledged 30 AS90 self-propelled guns.

The Kremlin reacted by saying that the Challengers “will burn like the others” armor provided by the West. Russia has repeatedly warned the United States and its allies against sending more weapons to kyiv, saying it only prolongs the conflict and risks an open confrontation. NATO insists it is not a party to the conflict, while continuing to provide Ukraine with billions of dollars in military aid.

Last month, in an interview, the general-in-chief of Ukraine claimed that he needed 300 tanks to successfully fight Russia. Britain operated a total of 227 Challenger 2s in 2020, when the Ministry of Defense reportedly considered mothballing the entire armored corps as too costly.

On Monday, however, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace told the House of Commons he needed more money for the military. Current plans call for £24 billion ($29.3 billion) over the next decade, although the new vehicles won’t be operational until the early 2030s, according to the BBC.

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