Germany delivers 14 “Leopard” tanks
Germany is supporting Ukraine in the war against the Russian attackers with Leopard 2 battle tanks. Chancellor Scholz gave the first details, after which 14 tanks will be delivered.
Now it’s official: Germany is supplying Ukraine with 14 Leopard 2 A6 main battle tanks.
In addition, the federal government gives other states permission to supply their own “Leopard” tanks. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) announced this in the federal cabinet, as government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit announced.
“We act in close international coordination”
“The decision follows our well-known line of supporting Ukraine to the best of our ability. We are acting in close international coordination,” the Chancellor was quoted as saying in the statement. Months of debate preceded the decision.
The goal is to quickly put together two tank battalions with “Leopard 2” tanks, the government spokesman said. In a first step, Germany will provide a company with 14 “Leopard 2 A6”. Ukrainian soldiers should be quickly trained on the tanks in Germany. The package also included ammunition, logistics and maintenance of the systems. The tanks are said to come from Bundeswehr stocks.
Federal government wants to give partner countries approval
As a production country, Germany plays a key role in the issue of the “Leopard” delivery. If armaments are sold to other countries, end-use clauses are always built into the contracts. This stipulates that the federal government must agree to the transfer to third countries.
Specifically, Scholz was under pressure because of an official export application from the Polish government. Poland has been putting pressure on Germany for a long time in the discussion about the supply of main battle tanks. President Andrzej Duda had announced that Ukraine would be given 14 “Leopard” battle tanks. It is now clear that the federal government will approve the Polish export application.
Of the 14 European countries that have “Leopard” tanks, in addition to Poland, Finland and the Netherlands have also clarified their readiness to supply main battle tanks. The Czech Republic, on the other hand, announced that it did not want to give up the “Leopard 2” battle tanks in favor of Ukraine, which Germany had promised in the course of a ring exchange. “It is now not possible to send the ‘Leopards’ on because we need these tanks for our security,” Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala told the dpa news agency.
Announcement expected on US tanks
It is expected that the US tank plans will also become more concrete in the course of the day. According to US media, the Biden government wants to provide Ukraine with around 30 “Abrams” tanks.
However, according to the Washington Post, it may be months, if not years, before the Abrams tanks see action in the war. According to the newspaper, it is unlikely that the vehicles will arrive in Ukraine in the spring, when the Russian offensive or a counter-offensive by Ukraine to recapture Russian-held areas is expected. So far, the USA had emphasized that it did not consider an “Abrams” deployment to be sensible for practical reasons.
Ukraine has long been demanding main battle tanks
For months Ukraine has been demanding western-style main battle tanks to fight the Russian attackers. The first official request to the federal government came just a week after the start of the war at the beginning of March last year.
The front line in eastern Ukraine has hardly moved in weeks. With the battle tanks, Ukraine is now hoping to get back on the offensive and recapture more territory.
What makes the Leopard Tank so special?
Poland submits application for “Leopard 2” delivery
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