Berlin gives the green light to the delivery of Leopard tanks to Ukraine, which insisted on them in the face of the Russian invasion, announced Wednesday the spokesman of the German government.
Germany will also deliver 14 Leopard 2A6 tanks to Ukraine from Bundeswehr (German army) stocks, according to a government statement.
The announcement was made at the end of the Council of Ministers on Wednesday morning.
“This is the result of intensive consultations that have taken place with the European and international partners closest to Germany,” said government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz had been under pressure for several weeks from his Western allies, from Ukraine, but also from his partners in his government coalition, liberals and environmentalists.
“This decision follows our well-known line, which is to support Ukraine with all our might. We act in a closely concerted and coordinated manner at the international level”, according to Mr. Scholz, quoted in the press release.
“The objective is to quickly build two tank battalions equipped with Leopard 2 tanks for Ukraine,” the statement said.
“For this, Germany will initially make available a company of 14 Leopard 2 A6 tanks, from Bundeswehr stocks”, according to the spokesperson. This 2A6 tank is a more recent and improved model than the 2A4, which intend to deliver in particular Poland and Finland.
“Training of Ukrainian crews must begin quickly in Germany,” the spokesman argued. “Besides training, the package will also include logistics, ammunition and systems maintenance.”
And “Germany will give partner countries who wish to quickly deliver Leopard-2 tanks from their stock to Ukraine the necessary permits for the transfer”, he concluded.
Countries that have purchased Leopard 2 tanks from Germany for their armed forces must obtain permission from Berlin to re-export them.
Several countries, including Poland, Finland and the Netherlands, have expressed their willingness to deliver these heavy tanks, demanded loud and clear by kyiv.
The United States could announce the delivery of Abrams tanks, according to the Wall Street Journal.