Ukraine, even Germany caves: ready to ship Leopard 2

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The question of modern tanks requested by Ukraine from Western allies would have finally been resolved. Germany seems to have decided to deliver the long-awaited Leopards to Kiev, while the powerful Abrams tanks could arrive from the United States. A decision that, not surprisingly, would be linked precisely to the latest consultations between Berlin and Washington. According to Der Spiegel, the government of Olaf Scholz will deliver at least one company of Leopard 2A6s to Ukraine. The decision would have been preceded by intense multi-day consultations with the allies, especially with Washington. According to information from Spiegel, the German Leopard tanks destined for Kiev come from the stockpiles of the Bundeswehr, the German army. In the medium and long term, other industrial stock tanks may be prepared for use.

American Abrams tanks can also reach Ukraine. According to American media, the Biden administration is preparing to give the green light to send a “significant number” of Abrams M1s to Kiev and the announcement could be made as early as Wednesday. The delivery of the Abrams would be linked to a broader diplomatic agreement with Germany, in which Berlin would agree to send fewer of its Leopoard 2 tanks to Ukraine, while giving Poland and other nations approval for the railcars themselves. for Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Warsaw announced that it had made an official request to Berlin for approval of the delivery of the Leopards to Kiev. “I hope that this time the German response will arrive soon”, commented Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who announced that Poland will ask the EU for compensation for the cost of Leopard 2 tanks destined for Ukraine. Warsaw’s request is linked to German law, which requires approval for the re-export of military equipment. Which means that the hundreds of Leopard tanks in Europe can only be shipped to Ukraine with Berlin’s consent. Still according to Spiegel, the German government has already decided to give its approval both to Poland and to other allied countries.

Delivering German tanks to Kiev would “harm” strained relations with Germany, warns the Kremlin. But Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, who met NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Berlin, nevertheless assured that Germany would not oppose the training of Ukrainian soldiers in Leopards by allied countries, reiterating that it had provided a Complete inventory of Leopard stocks in Germany.

There would be around 320 Leopard 2s available to the German army, under various conditions, as explained to CNN by a spokeswoman for the German Defense Ministry. On the other hand, 139 are in the hands of the industry, informed the company Rheimetall, which may have 29 Leopards available as early as the end of March. Kiev’s need to “quickly have heavy weapons” was also emphasized by Stoltenberg in his meeting with Pistorius. At the moment, German-made tanks will not arrive from the Czech Republic. Prime Minister Petr Fiala, also in Berlin for a meeting with Scholz, explained that the Leopards “we now need them for our security”.

Source: IL Tempo

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