Ukraine-Russia war: Germany agrees to send 2 battalions of Leopard 2 tanks after heavy pressure

Streaming HUBJanuary 25, 2023

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz formally announced Wednesday that after weeks of stalled and frustrating negotiations, Berlin has agreed to send two battalions of Leopard 2A6 tanks to Ukraine.

In a statement the government said it would initially send a company of 14 tanks to Kyiv, although it aimed to send up to 88 tanks from its own stockpile.

Scholz said, “This decision follows our well-known line of supporting Ukraine to the best of our ability. We are acting in a closely coordinated manner internationally.”

MUNSTER, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 07: A new Leopard 2 A7V heavy battle tank of the Bundeswehr's 9th Panzer Training Brigade stands during a visit by Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht at the Bundeswehr army training ground on February 07, 2022 in Münster, Germany.

MUNSTER, GERMANY – FEBRUARY 07: A new Leopard 2 A7V heavy battle tank of the Bundeswehr’s 9th Panzer Training Brigade stands during a visit by Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht at the Bundeswehr army training ground on February 07, 2022 in Münster, Germany.
(Photo by Sean Gallup / Getty Images)

Germany ‘appreciates the moment now’ as it finally agrees to send tanks to Ukraine, says Graham

Some 15 other EU nations that have German-made tanks in their own stocks have stepped up pressure on Berlin in recent weeks to approve re-exports to Ukraine as the war nears the 12-month mark.

“Germany will issue appropriate transfer permits to partner countries that wish to quickly deliver Leopard 2 tanks from their stocks to Ukraine,” confirmed Wednesday’s statement.

It is not clear when German or allied tanks will be in Ukraine, although the statement said training of Ukrainian troops in Germany would begin “soon”.

Western officials are warning that the Allies can no longer hold on to the issue as Russia plans to launch a massive retaliatory strike in the near future.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz talks to soldiers in front of a Leopard 2 main battle tank following an army training and instruction exercise in Ostenholz, Germany, Monday, Oct. 21, 2017. 17, 2022.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz talks to soldiers in front of a Leopard 2 main battle tank following an army training and instruction exercise in Ostenholz, Germany, Monday, Oct. 21, 2017. 17, 2022.

US may deliver ‘significant number’ of Abrams tanks to Ukraine despite Pentagon’s misgivings

Reports emerged late Tuesday that the US has also decided to send in its Abrams tanks, despite weeks of expressing concern over efficiency and maintenance costs.

The Associated Press reported that the Pentagon is reportedly seeking training shipments on as many as 30 tanks, which would push back the delivery timeline.

It is not clear why the US has finally decided to send its own tanks, although the decision comes as the nation grows increasingly frustrated with Germany, which suggested earlier this month that it would only Will send tanks when America also agrees.

DONETSK Oblast, UKRAINE - JANUARY 18: Ukrainian tankers perform maintenance on their tanks on the Donbass frontline as troop mobilization continues within the Russian-Ukrainian war on January 18, 2023.

DONETSK Oblast, UKRAINE – JANUARY 18: Ukrainian tankers perform maintenance on their tanks on the Donbass frontline as troop mobilization continues within the Russian-Ukrainian war on January 18, 2023.
(Photo by Diego Herrera Carcedo / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham, RS.C, and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. Tuesday urged the Biden administration to send three to five tanks if it felt like deploying Germany’s Leopard 2 tanks to get the ball rolling.

Defense officials have said that Ukraine is better off employing German-built tanks as there are “thousands” of them across Europe and that maintenance as well as training is far more manageable than the more advanced Abrams tanks.

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