Seoul, South Korea
NATO Secretary Normal Jens Stoltenberg on Monday requested South Korea to rethink its rule on not exporting weapons to nations in battle so it may assist arm Ukraine in repelling Russia’s invasion.
“I urge the Republic of Korea to proceed and to step up the particular concern of army help,” he stated in a query and reply session after a speech to the Chey Institute for Superior Research in Seoul.
“A number of NATO allies who had as a coverage by no means to export weapons to nations in battle have modified that coverage now,” Stoltenberg stated, citing Germany, Norway and NATO applicant Sweden as these which have modified their arms export insurance policies to assist Ukraine.
“After the brutal invasion of Ukraine, these nations modified their coverage as a result of they realized that if you end up going through a brutal invasion the place an enormous energy – Russia – invades one other one in a blatant method as we’ve seen in Ukraine, if we consider in freedom, if we consider in democracy, if we don’t need autocracy and tyranny to win, then they want weapons.
“When the full-fledged invasion occurred final yr, many nations modified their coverage as a result of they realized that the one method to rise up for democracy, to assist Ukraine prevail, and to create the situations for a long-lasting peace was to ship army help.”
Navy assist for Ukraine acquired an enormous increase final week when Germany stated it could ship 14 of its Leopard 2 tanks to Kyiv, whereas additionally allowing different nations that possess the Leopards, together with Norway, to provide them.
The Leopard 2 is a subsequent technology tank that’s each agile and fast, regardless of being geared up with superior protecting armor and long-range firepower. It’s thought-about among the many greatest on the earth and superior to something Russia has deployed in Ukraine.
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Along with the Leopards, Ukraine is about to obtain heavy armor from each america, which is sending 31 M1 Abrams tanks, and the UK, which has pledged 14 Challenger tanks.
Some consultants say the South Korean K2 Panther can also be in that group of prime tanks and could possibly be helpful for Ukraine.
However a South Korean presidential decree that enforces the nation’s Overseas Commerce Act says its exports can solely be used for “peaceable functions” and “shall not have an effect on worldwide peace, security upkeep, and nationwide safety.”
South Korea can also be a signatory to the United Nations’ Arms Commerce Treaty, ratified in 2014 with the intention of holding shut management on who will get weapons and underneath what situations they can be utilized.
However that doesn’t imply South Korea’s arms trade isn’t seeing a job in Ukraine’s conflict with Russia.
In December, a US protection official instructed CNN that Washington intends to purchase 100,000 rounds of artillery ammunition from South Korean arms producers to supply to Ukraine.
The rounds will probably be transferred to Ukraine through the US, permitting Seoul to stay to its public pledge that it could not ship deadly assist to the war-torn nation.
And one of many greatest army supporters of Ukraine – Poland – signed a significant weapons cope with South Korea final yr for lots of of tanks and howizters and dozens of fighter jets.
The deal will allow Poland to interchange lots of the weapons that Warsaw has despatched to Kyiv.
Stoltenberg stated Monday that it’s crucial that democracies should stand with Ukraine for so long as it takes for Kyiv to win the conflict.
“As a result of if if [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin wins, the message to him and different authoritarian leaders will probably be that they’ll get what they need with the usage of drive,” he stated. “This might make the world extra harmful and us extra susceptible.”
Hear NATO chief’s message to Russia following tank cargo announcement