An international alliance is emerging for the delivery of battle tanks to Ukraine. Germany will deliver Leopard tanks, other countries will do the same.
After weeks of debate, a larger alliance is emerging to support Ukraine with Western-style main battle tanks. As Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) announced on Wednesday, Germany will send 14 German Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine. Delivery to other countries such as Poland and Finland should also be allowed.
Apparently, it was important to the Chancellor that the United States, the most important NATO partner, also participated. The USA wants to deliver 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine. The UK has already committed 14 of its Challenger tanks.
Germany plays a key role in Leopard shipments
As a manufacturing country, Germany plays a key role in leopard delivery. End-use clauses are always included in contracts if weapons are sold to other countries. This stipulates that the federal government must agree to transfer to third countries.
Scholz has been under pressure since Tuesday due to the Polish government’s official export application. Poland has long put pressure on Germany in the debate over the supply of main battle tanks. Last week, President Andrzej Duda announced that Ukraine will receive 14 Leopard main battle tanks.
Meanwhile, the Netherlands, Spain and Finland want to join the group of countries that supply tanks to Ukraine. “International cooperation to deliver leopards to Ukraine is currently progressing and Finland will participate in it,” said Finnish Defense Minister Mikko Savola. Norway also wants to deliver German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.
The Czech Republic does not want to do without it
The Czech Republic announced on Tuesday that it does not want to give up the Leopard 2 main battle tanks, which Germany promised during the ring swap, in favor of Ukraine. After meeting with Scholz in Berlin, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala told dpa:
The country supplied Ukraine with dozens of Soviet-designed T-72 main battle tanks last year. The federal government has promised the government in Prague 14 Leopard 2 tanks and an armored recovery vehicle as part of the so-called ring exchange. The first Leopard was delivered last December.
Ukraine wants to attack with main battle tanks
Ukraine has been demanding western-style main battle tanks to fight Russian aggressors for months. 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 for weeks. With battle tanks, Ukraine now hopes to return to the offensive and recapture more territory. At the same time, an attack by Russia for the spring is feared.
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