Seoul, South Korea
NATO Secretary Basic Jens Stoltenberg on Monday requested South Korea to rethink its rule on not exporting weapons to international locations in battle so it might assist arm Ukraine in repelling Russia’s invasion.
“I urge the Republic of Korea to proceed and to step up the particular challenge of navy 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 international locations 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 international locations modified their coverage as a result of they realized that if you end up dealing with a brutal invasion the place an enormous energy – Russia – invades one other one in a blatant means as we now have seen in Ukraine, if we imagine in freedom, if we imagine 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 international locations modified their coverage as a result of they realized that the one solution to rise up for democracy, to assist Ukraine prevail, and to create the situations for an enduring peace was to ship navy help.”
Navy support for Ukraine acquired an enormous enhance final week when Germany stated it will ship 14 of its Leopard 2 tanks to Kyiv, whereas additionally allowing different international locations that possess the Leopards, together with Norway, to provide them.
The Leopard 2 is a subsequent era tank that’s each agile and fast, regardless of being outfitted with superior protecting armor and long-range firepower. It’s thought-about among the many greatest on this planet and superior to something Russia has deployed in Ukraine.
Along with the Leopards, Ukraine is ready to obtain heavy armor from each the US, 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 be in that group of prime tanks and might 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 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 business isn’t seeing a job in Ukraine’s conflict with Russia.
In December, a US protection official informed CNN that Washington intends to purchase 100,000 rounds of artillery ammunition from South Korean arms producers to offer to Ukraine.
The rounds might be transferred to Ukraine by way of the US, permitting Seoul to stay to its public pledge that it will not ship deadly support to the war-torn nation.
And one of many greatest navy supporters of Ukraine – Poland – signed a serious weapons take care of South Korea final yr for a whole bunch 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 might be that they’ll get what they need with the usage of power,” he stated. “This might make the world extra harmful and us extra susceptible.”