For several days now, eyes have been turned towards Germany. Days of hesitation in the face of a decision that could mean a departure from the line of conduct established since the Second World War. This switch is now active.
As expected, in recent hours, Berlin has given the go-ahead to supply Leopard tanks to Ukraine, which has been pushing for them in the face of a Russian invasion, a German government spokesman said Wednesday. Germany will also supply Ukraine with 14 Leopard 2A6 tanks from the stocks of the Bundeswehr (German army), the government said in a statement. This decision was welcomed by France and Ukraine.
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In a press release, Elysée “welcomes” the news, which “expands and strengthens” the support “performed” by Paris with the supply of lighter AMX10-RC armored vehicles. Kyiv, through the voice of the head of the presidential administration, sees this as a “first step”, which, however, should not stop there. “We need a lot of Leopards,” he added.
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Germany’s statement was made after the meeting of the Council of Ministers on Wednesday morning. “This is the result of intensive consultations that took place with the European and international partners closest to Germany,” said government spokesman Steffen Hebestrait.
Ukrainian training ‘should start quickly’
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has been under pressure for weeks from his Western allies, Ukraine, as well as from his government coalition partners, liberals and environmentalists. “This decision follows our well-known line – to support Ukraine with all our might. We act in close coordination and coordination at the international level,” said Olaf Scholz, quoted in the press release.
“The task is to quickly form two tank battalions equipped with Leopard 2 tanks for Ukraine,” the message says. “For this, Germany will initially provide a company of 14 Leopard 2 A6 tanks from the Bundeswehr stocks,” the spokesman said. This 2A6 tank is a newer and more advanced model than the 2A4, which is intended to be supplied, in particular, to Poland and Finland. “Training of Ukrainian crews should quickly begin in Germany,” the spokesman said. “In addition to training, the package will also include logistics, ammunition and systems maintenance.”
And “Germany will provide partner countries that want to quickly supply Leopard-2 tanks from their warehouse to Ukraine with the necessary transfer permits,” he concluded. Countries that purchased Leopard 2 tanks from Germany for their armed forces must obtain permission from Berlin to re-export them. A number of countries, including Poland, Finland and the Netherlands, expressed their readiness to supply these heavy tanks, which Kyiv demanded loudly and clearly. The US may announce the delivery of Abrams tanks, according to the Wall Street Journal.