South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham (R) urged the West to send tanks to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky after he traveled to Ukraine this weekend.
Graham visited Ukraine together with Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).
While in Ukraine, the seniors held a press conference in Kiev where Graham called on Germany and the United States to send tanks to help Zelensky fight back against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attack on Ukraine.
“All three of us, a Republican and two Democrats, have the same goal: for Ukraine to drive the Russians out of Ukraine. To achieve that goal, the Ukrainian army needs tanks,” said Graham said at a press conference following a meeting with Zelensky and other Ukrainian government officials.
Graham speaking in Kiev: “If Putin gets away with this, there goes Taiwan. If Putin is successful in Ukraine and not prosecuted under international law, everything we’ve said since World War II will become a joke. He will go beyond Ukraine.” pic.twitter.com/qtlSZHpuVh
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) January 20, 2023
“I’m tired of the shit show surrounding who is going to send tanks and when they are going to send them,” added Graham. “Putin is trying to rewrite the map of Europe by force of arms. The world order is at stake.”
As Business Insider reported:
Graham’s request came because US and German defense officials could not agree on sending main battle tanks to Ukraine. Kiev has called on NATO and other European countries to send German-made Leopard 2 tanks, but this would require Germany’s approval, as Insider’s Jake Epstein previously reported.
After the trip, Graham reiterated his calls for the west to send tanks to Zelensky in a press release issued on Sunday.
Graham said the tanks are “decisive for Russia’s expulsion from Ukraine”.
“I had an incredible trip to Ukraine where I met President Zelensky and his team. I am amazed at the determination and ability of the Ukrainian army and people to defend their homeland,” said Graham. “The debacle over sending tanks to Ukraine must end. It is impossible for Ukraine to drive out Russia without tanks.”
“I hope that Germany and the United States will both send tanks as soon as possible, opening the desire of other countries to help Ukraine,” he added. “The tanks will determine the outcome in driving Russia out of Ukraine.”
All three, one Republican and two Democrats, have the same goal: for Ukraine to drive the Russians out of Ukraine.
To achieve that goal, the Ukrainian army needs tanks. pic.twitter.com/WsrJBmgvj4
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) January 20, 2023
Graham urged Germany and the US to act before next month’s Munich Security Conference.
“The Munich security conference – the most important national security event in the world – will be held in mid-February. It would be incredibly embarrassing to hold a meeting of the free world in Munich when Ukraine’s military needs have not been met,” Graham said.
“All the rhetoric that has been coming out of the Munich Security Conference for decades would ring hollow if the United States, Germany and others don’t supply tanks to Ukraine to counter the coming Russian offensive and drive Russia out of Ukraine,” Graham concluded.