Berlin greenlights tank delivery Leopard at theUkraine, German government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said in a statement on Wednesday. L’Germany For its part, it will deliver to Ukraine 14 Leopard 2A6 tanks from Bundeswehr stocks and it will authorize countries that so wish to supply kyiv with the tanks they have. 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.
The German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, had been under pressure for several weeks of its Western allies, of Ukraine, but also of its partners in the government coalition, liberals and ecologists. “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 Olaf 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. READ ALSOUkraine: German Leopard 2 and French Leclerc are they equal?
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg hailed Germany’s decision to supply Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, saying they will help kyiv win against the Russian invaders. “At a critical moment in the war launched by the Russiathey can help Ukraine to defend itself, to win and to prevail as an independent nation,” he added on Twitter.
France “welcomes” the German green light to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine, believing that it “prolongs and amplifies” the arms support “committed” by Paris, declared the Elysée. The French government has not yet made a decision about sending its own Leclerc heavy tanks, a possibility that President Emmanuel Macron does not rule out.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki thanked Germany for this decision. “The decision to send Leopards to Ukraine is a big step towards the goal of stopping Russia. We are stronger together,” he tweeted. For its part, France “welcomes” the green light from Germany, believing that it “prolongs and amplifies” the support “committed” by Paris with the delivery of lighter armored AMX10-RC, declared the Elysée. .
Ukrainian crews soon to be trained
“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.READ ALSO How to end the Ukrainian war
“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.
In this regard, Norway has announced that it will send Leopard 2 heavy tanks to Ukraine as part of Western donations to support the country against the Russian invasion. “Norway and the government support the donation of battle tanks to Ukraine. Norway will participate,” Minister Bjørn Arild Gram said in an interview with public television NRK. It will be the A4 variant in service with the Norwegian army of the German-made Leopard 2 tank, he said, without giving the number of tanks concerned. Training of Ukrainian troops is also planned, according to the minister.
An “extremely dangerous” decision according to Moscow
The Russian ambassador to Germany on Wednesday denounced Berlin’s “extremely dangerous” decision to deliver Leopard tanks to Ukraine. “This is an extremely dangerous decision that will bring the conflict to a new level of confrontation,” Sergei Netchaev commented, according to his embassy’s Telegram account. “This convinces us once again that Germany, like its closest allies, does not want a diplomatic solution to the Ukrainian crisis, and wants a permanent escalation,” he said. he says.
The Russian ambassador also accused Berlin, through these tank deliveries, of “going back on its historical responsibility” for “the crimes of Nazism” during the Second World War. “With the authorization of the German government, tanks bearing German crosses will once again be sent to the ‘eastern front’ which will inevitably lead to the death of Russian soldiers but also civilians”, he said. -he accuses.