HomeWorldGermany confirms it will supply Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanksOUS News

Germany confirms it will supply Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanksOUS News

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BERLIN – After weeks of hesitation, Germany has agreed to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, in what Kyiv hopes will be a game changer on the battlefield.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced the decision to send 14 tanks – and allow other countries to send theirs too – at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday. The administration of US President Joe Biden is also expected to announce plans to send at least 30 M1 Abrams tanks.

A Kremlin spokesman earlier said the tanks would “burn like all the rest”. Dmitry Peskov said that the maximum power that the tanks will bring to the army of Ukraine, and called the move a “failed plan”. But Ukrainian officials insist they urgently need heavy weapons, and that enough battle tanks can help Kyiv’s troops retake territory from the Russians.

A German government spokesman said the decision to supply the tanks “follows our well-known line of supporting Ukraine in our capacity”.

Germany also allowed other countries to send their Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine – which was until now restricted under export regulations. The US and Germany have resisted internal and external pressure to send their tanks to Ukraine for some time. Washington cited the extensive training and maintenance required for the high-tech Abrams.

The Germans endured months of political debate over concerns that sending tanks would escalate the conflict and make Nato a direct party to war with Russia. US media are reporting that an announcement about Abrams’ moves to Ukraine could come as soon as Thursday, with unnamed officials saying at least 30 could be sent. However, the timing is still uncertain, and it may take several months for US warships to reach the battlefield. German officials have insisted that they will only agree to the delivery of Leopard 2s to Ukraine if the US also sends M1 Abrams. “If the Germans continue to say that we will send or release the Panthers only on the conditions that the Americans send the Abrams, we should send the Abrams,” Democratic Senator Chris Coons, a Biden colleague, told Politico on Tuesday.

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