Germany approves sending heavy Leopard tanks to Ukraine

BERLIN: Germany will supply its Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, it declared on Wednesday (Jan 25), beating misgivings about sending heavy weaponry that Kyiv sees as vital to defeat the Russian invasion but Moscow forged as a unnecessary provocation.

Tension has been making for months on German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s govt to ship the tanks and make it possible for other NATO allies to do the exact ahead of envisioned spring offensives by both sides that could enable transform the tide of the war.

Scholz’s govt had stalled on the selection, wary of moves that could prompt Russia to escalate or suck the NATO alliance into turning into get together to the conflict.

Germany’s choice paves the way for other nations these kinds of as Poland, Spain and Norway to provide their shares of Leopard tanks to Ukraine.

“This selection follows our perfectly-recognized line of supporting Ukraine to the best of our capacity. We are acting in a carefully coordinated way internationally,” Scholz mentioned in a statement.

The goal was to immediately establish two battalions with Leopard 2 tanks for Ukraine, the assertion explained, adding Germany would in a first step provide 14 Leopard 2 tanks from armed forces shares.

Teaching of Ukrainian troops in Germany will start off quickly, and Germany will also present logistics and ammunition, it claimed.

Germany will problem the ideal transfer permits to companion international locations that want to speedily provide Leopard 2 tanks from their shares to Ukraine, it said.