South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) called on the West to send tanks over in support of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky after he traveled to Ukraine during the weekend.
Graham was in Ukraine with Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).
While in Ukraine, the top officials held an event in Kyiv. Graham requested Germany along with the United States to send tanks to aid Zelensky to fight back against Russian President Vladimir Putin's attack on Ukraine.
“All three of us, including one Republican along with two Democrats have the same goal: for Ukraine to eliminate the Russians away from Ukraine. To accomplish this goal, the Ukrainian military will require tanks” Graham said during the press conference following an interview with Zelensky as well as other Ukrainian officials from the government.
“I am tired of the shit show surrounding who is going to send tanks and when they are going to send them,” Graham said. “Putin attempts to change maps of Europe through force of arms. The order of the world is at risk.”
According to Business Insider:
“Graham's request comes as American and German defense officials are not able to reach an agreement on the issue of the deployment of combat tanks into Ukraine. Kyiv has called on NATO as well as other European nations to provide Germany-made Leopard 2 tanks, but this requires approval from Germany according to the Insider's Jake Epstein who previously reported.”
Following the trip, Graham increased his demands that the West deliver tanks to Zelensky in an announcement on Sunday.
Graham stated that the tanks are “outcome determinative in expelling Russia from Ukraine.”
“I have had an amazing trip to Ukraine where I had the pleasure of meeting President Zelensky and his staff. I am awestruck by the dedication and capability of the Ukrainian army and citizens to protect their country,” Graham said. “The issue of the deployment of tanks into Ukraine must be put to rest. It's difficult for Ukraine to expel Russia without tanks.”
“I am hoping Germany and the United States will both send tanks ASAP – opening up other countries' desire to help Ukraine,” he said. “The tanks are outcome determinative in expelling Russia from Ukraine.”
Graham called on Germany as well as the U.S. to act before the Munich Security Conference.
“The Munich Security Conference – which is the most important national security event in the world – is set to be held in mid-February. It would be incredibly embarrassing to hold a conference of all nations in Munich when Ukraine's needs for military aren't being met,” Graham said.
“All the rhetoric coming out of the Munich Security Conference for decades would ring hollow if the United States, Germany, and others do not supply tanks to Ukraine to counter the coming Russian offensive and expel Russia from Ukraine,” Graham concluded.