14 Leopard 2 main battle tanks

The aim is to quickly assemble two tank battalions with Leopard 2 tanks, the government spokesman said.


(Photo: dpa)

Sedan Germany I want the Ukraine support in a first step with 14 Leopard 2 main battle tanks in the war against the Russian attackers. This was announced by government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit on Wednesday in Berlin. The aim is to quickly assemble two tank battalions with Leopard 2 tanks. For their part, the European partners would provide tanks for this purpose. The federal government will issue the corresponding permits for this.

The support package also included training, logistics and ammunition. The tanks are said to have come from Bundeswehr actions. “This decision follows our well-known line of supporting Ukraine to the best of our ability. We are acting in close international coordination”, said the Chancellor Olaf Schölz according to the announcement in Berlin.

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 in early March last year. The front line in eastern Ukraine has hardly moved in weeks. With the tanks, Ukraine now hopes to go back on the offensive and retake more territory. At the same time, a Russian offensive is feared for the spring.

The tank plans of the USA concretize. According to the American media, the Americans want to provide Ukraine with about 30 M1 Abrams tanks.

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However, according to the Washington Post, it will likely be months, if not years, before the Abrams tanks see action in the war. The vehicles are unlikely to reach Ukraine in the spring, when a Russian offensive or a Ukrainian counter-offensive is expected to retake Russian-occupied areas, the newspaper said.

united states concessions

Until now, the US had stressed that it did not consider an Abrams deployment sensible for practical reasons. Chancellor Scholz has always emphasized how important it is for him to make the decision on such a delivery of new quality weapons.

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On Tuesday night, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy reacted cautiously to reports of tank deliveries. Discussions must now lead to decisions, he demanded. “Decisions that really strengthen our defenses against (Russian) terrorists.”

As a producing country, Germany plays a key role in the issue of Leopard delivery. If armaments are sold to other countries, end-use clauses are always included in the contracts. This stipulates that the federal government must agree to the transfer to third countries.

Scholz has been under pressure since Tuesday due to an official export request from the Polish government. Poland has been pressuring Germany for a long time in the discussion about the supply of main battle tanks.

The week before, President Andrzej Duda announced that Ukraine would receive 14 Leopard main battle tanks. It is now clear that the federal government will approve the Polish export request.

Olaf Schölz

Chancellor Scholz has always emphasized how important it is for him to make the decision on such a delivery of new quality weapons.

(Photo: Getty Images)

Of the 14 European countries that have Leopard tanks, apart from Poland, Finland and the Netherlands have also clarified their willingness to supply main battle tanks. On the other hand, the Czech Republic announced on Tuesday that it does not want to give up the Leopard 2 main battle tanks in favor of Ukraine, which Germany had promised in the course of an exchange of rings. “Now it is not possible to send the Leopards because we need these tanks for our security,” Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala told dpa.

More: Read all the current developments in the Ukrainian war on the Newsblog

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