War in Ukraine: Germany to deliver Leopard 2 tanks to kyiv

Under pressure for days, Germany will finally authorize the delivery of battle tanks, claimed by kyiv, two German media reported on Tuesday evening. According to Spiegel, which does not cite sources, Chancellor Olaf Scholz should thus give the green light, probably on Wednesday, to the dispatch of German Leopard 2 type 2A6 tanks. It is “at least one company”, or a dozen heavy tanks at least, adds this media. The news channel NTV, which cites sources close to the government, also indicates that the German Chancellor is preparing to announce his agreement.

When questioned, the entourage of the Social Democratic Chancellor did not wish to comment on Tuesday evening. The German leader, who is due to speak at 12 p.m. GMT on Wednesday (1 p.m. in Paris) before the Bundestag, the lower house of the German parliament, would also give his agreement to countries, including Poland, which wish to deliver Leopard 2 tanks to kyiv, according to these media.

The Leopard 2 heavy tank, whose Ukraine has been demanding delivery for months from Germany and to Westerners, is a world-renowned weapon, likely to have a “significant” impact on the battlefield, experts say. Designed by the German manufacturer Krauss-Maffei and built in series from the end of the 1970s to replace the American M48 Patton tanks and then the Leopard 1 tank, the Leopard 2 combines firepower, mobility and protection.

“Urgency Required”

In Berlin, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said on Tuesday morning that he had “expressly encouraged partner countries that have Leopard tanks ready for deployment to train Ukrainian forces on these tanks”.

So far, Finland and Poland have said they are ready to do so. Warsaw, which wants to create a “coalition of countries supporting Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks”, has officially sent a request to this effect, the receipt of which was confirmed on Tuesday by Berlin. “We will process the request with the urgency required in accordance with the planned procedure,” assured a spokesman for the German government on Tuesday.

The United States could agree to deliver Abrams tanks, says the Wall Street Journal.

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