Germany approves sending advanced tanks to Ukraine

Germany has agreed to send advanced tanks to Ukraine.”

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in a January 25 statement that his government would provide Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and give the green light to other countries wanting to send Leopard 2 tanks. So.

“This decision follows the well-known policy of fully supporting Ukraine,” Scholz said in a statement. “We are working closely together internationally.”

The Ukrainian army needs to be trained in advanced tank operations, and German government spokesman Steffen Hevestrei said such training would take place in Germany and “start soon.” I’m here.

Hevestrite said that in addition to providing the tanks themselves, Germany would also provide logistical support, maintenance and ammunition.

Hebestreit added that Berlin will provide 14 Leopard 2A6 tanks from stock “as a first step” while issuing “appropriate transfer permits” to partner countries wishing to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

Poland is eager to send Leopard 2 tanks to help Ukrainian forces confront their Russian counterparts, and Defense Minister Marius Blaszczak said Tuesday that Warsaw formally asked Germany for permission to do so. said.

Epoch Times photo
A Leopard 2 tank is pictured at a media demonstration event held by the Bundeswehr in Münster near Hannover, Germany, September 28, 2011. (Michael Sohn, File/AP Photo)

“We will win this war”

German officials said on Sunday that Berlin’s approval is required to hand over German-made tanks to non-NATO countries and that they would not stand in the way of countries wanting to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

Berlin’s decision stands ready to authorize Washington to send about 30 M1 Abrams tanks to the conflict zone as international resistance to sending tanks to counter Russian forces in Ukraine fades. This is done following a report indicating that there is

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday that it was “over time” for the Biden administration and its allies to send more military aid to Ukraine, and Washington said Ukraine would “win this war.” “We must provide more tanks and weapons to help the ”

Ekkehard Brose, head of the German Armed Forces’ Federal Security Policy Academy, said it was important to tie the US to the decision to send tanks to avoid Europe facing only a nuclear-armed Russia. rice field.

A rocket is launched from a missile system.
A missile system launches a rocket as part of a ground-based intercontinental ballistic missile test launched from the Plesetsk facility in northwestern Russia on December 9, 2020. (Russian Ministry of Defense press service via AP)


The Berlin announcement was met with vehement reactions from Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, who told reporters in Moscow on Wednesday that the US and Germany’s plans to send advanced tanks to Ukraine were for technical reasons. said he was doomed to failure.

“I am sure many experts also understand the absurdity of this idea. We clearly overestimate the potential for additions,” said Peskov.

Peskov predicted that “these tanks, like all other armor, will go up in flames,” and that advanced tanks “will cost a lot, and this burden will be borne mainly by European taxpayers.” will be,” he added.

Kremlin officials said Tuesday that Berlin’s offer of Leopard tanks to Ukraine would further strain relations between Russia and Germany.

Dmitry Peskov
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov attends a joint press conference between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on February 18, 2022. (Sputnik/Sergey Guneev/Kremlin via Reuters)

The president of the German Military Union, André Westner, said transporting the leopards to the battlefield was “good for Ukraine” but “bad for the combat readiness” of the German army.

Speaking to German TV station ZDF TV on Wednesday, Wuestner said Berlin must not only help Ukraine, but strengthen Germany’s defense capabilities.

“The truth is that we have been distributing weapons and ammunition since February. rice field.

In addition to Germany, Poland and Finland have promised to send Leopard tanks to the Ukrainian front, pending approval from Berlin.

Britain also pledged to provide Ukraine with 14 Challenger 2 main battle tanks and various other advanced strike equipment.

Epoch Times photo
A Challenger 2 tank fires during an exercise tractable in Salisbury, England, March 19, 2015. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

The Abrams tank, which Washington may approve Wednesday for delivery to Kyiv, is widely viewed as poorly suited for use in Ukraine due to its high fuel consumption and high maintenance needs.

It will be a while before the Leopards actually reach the front lines, but the Berlin move marks the first delivery of Western-made tanks to Ukraine since Russia invaded the country almost 11 months ago. is shown.

British and Polish officials reacted with approval after Scholz made the decision to send the leopards.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Twitter: “Together, we are accelerating efforts to help Ukraine win this war and secure a lasting peace.”

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki thanked Scholz for saying that “the decision to send the leopards to Ukraine is a big step to stop Russia.”

Reuters and Associated Press contributed to this report.

Tom Ozimek

Tom Ozimek is a senior reporter for the Epoch Times. He has an extensive background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education.