We do not refuse to supply Kyiv with Leopard tanks

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius confirmed that his country is ready to send tanksv Leopard of Ukraine If the allies reach a decision.

During remarks following a meeting of NATO defense ministers at Ramstein base in Germany, Pistorius ruled out setting a date on reaching a decision on supplying Ukraine with tanks after the allies’ meeting, considering it wrong to believe that Germany refuses to supply Kyiv with Leopard.

In the same context, he stressed that Berlin would not refuse any country to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine, pointing to his country’s commitment to supplying Kyiv with 40 Marder tanks.

The German Minister of Defense stressed that the priority at the present time is to send air defense systems to Ukraine, explaining that Berlin has provided military aid to Kiev worth 3.3 billion euros so far.

No conditions

In turn, German government spokesman Steffen Hepstrit announced that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz did not link the issue of transferring German “Leopard” tanks to Kyiv to Washington’s delivery of “Abrams” tanks to Ukraine.

As the spokesman said, today, Friday, in a statement commenting on this matter, there was never any correlation or condition that a step should be taken, followed by the next step.

This came after the newspaper “Süddeutsche Zeitung” reported last Wednesday, quoting sources, that Schulz informed US President Joe Biden by phone of his agreement to deliver “Leopard 2” combat tanks to Kyiv, provided that the United States, for its part, provides “Abrams” tanks to Ukraine.

The spokesman also added that the German government had no information about the possible delivery of Leopard tanks to Ukraine.

Abrams tanks first

Nor did he know the reason for the divergence of the German position, especially since Berlin had also announced that it would not allow the Allies to ship German-made tanks to Ukraine to aid in its defense against Russia and would not lend its own systems, unless the United States agreed to send American-made combat tanks.

The German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, expressed his willingness to allow the provision of tanks “Leopard-2” to Ukraine, provided that Washington provides Kyiv with “Abrams” tanks.

The German Chancellor confirmed in more than one statement that Germany will not take unilateral steps on the issue of military support for Ukraine.

The aid continues

It is noteworthy that a regular meeting of Western defense ministers was held at the US Ramstein Air Base in Germany, in which they discussed sending more aid to Kyiv, primarily the issue of transporting Leopard.

Meanwhile, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, announced today, Friday, that European countries are ready to send heavy tanks to Ukraine.

Leopard tanks break ranks within NATO

He told reporters in Madrid his belief that Ukraine needs combat weapons and heavy tanks that some European countries have requested.

Washington is working hard for Berlin to supply Leopard tanks to Ukraine from its own stocks and not just to allow other NATO countries to re-export the tanks, as deliveries cannot be made without the permission of Germany, which manufactures these tanks.

While NATO allies own more than 2,000 German-made Leopard tanks, they are among the most advanced tanks in the world, according to the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.

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