Sending weapons to Ukraine would weaken British Army: Chief
The British army chief says it is essential to restore the pace of the army's "warfighting capability".
The British army chief, General Sir Patrick Sanders, warned that sending tanks and artillery guns to Kiev will leave the British army weaker, BBC reported.
In an internal message sent to troops, Sanders said Ukraine would put British military assistance to "good use" against Russia. At the same time, he warned that this would leave the British army "temporarily weaker".
On January 14, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a phone conversation that London would send Kiev 14 Challenger 2 tanks.
Zelensky said sending the tanks "will not only strengthen us on the battlefield, but also send the right signal to other partners."
The British Army chief claimed that ensuring Russia's defeat in the Ukraine war "makes us safer." However, he noted that it was essential to restore the pace of the army's "warfighting capability".
"There is no doubt that our choice will impact our ability to mobilise the army against the acute and enduring threat Russia presents and meet our NATO obligations," Sanders indicated.
In the same context, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace stressed on Monday the need to reinvest in the military.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Wallace pointed out that his department was analyzing whether the British army is in need of a larger tank fleet in light of the Ukraine war.
The Defense Secretary noted that he would "also build on the Army's modernization program at pace, specifically on artillery."
Read more: Polish PM urges Germany to supply Ukraine with tanks
UK's possible supply of tanks will not change situation in Ukraine
On Monday, Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov considered that the possible supply of tanks by the UK and other Western weapons will not change the situation in Ukraine.
"They [tanks' supplies] are not able to change the situation on the spot, they [Western states] must understand this. They are able to ... bring more trouble to the state of Ukraine," Peskov indicated
"However, we strongly doubt that they somehow care about the fate of those people who live in Ukraine, about their future," he told reporters.
The diplomat warned that the tanks will be considered potential targets by the Russian armed forces, adding that the special military operation will continue.
On Saturday, officials at the Russian Embassy in the UK stated that Britain’s declaration to possibly transfer Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine will only intensify combat and generate more casualties.
Read more: Western armored vehicles to Ukraine: breakthrough or stepback?