The first Leopard battle tanks from Germany could be in Ukraine in three or four months, German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius says.
Germany backs tanks, Ukraine quits Soledar
Germany says it will supply its Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, overcoming misgivings about sending heavy weaponry that Ukrainian officials consider crucial to defeat Russia’s invasion.
Pressure has been building for weeks on German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government to send the tanks and allow NATO allies to do the same before expected northern hemisphere spring offensives by both sides.
Scholz’s government had stalled, wary of moves that could prompt Russia to escalate the war or draw the NATO military alliance into becoming a party to the conflict.
Germany’s decision paves the way for other countries such as Poland, Spain, Finland, the Netherlands and Norway to supply some of their Leopard tanks to Ukraine, going some way towards delivering the hundreds of tanks that Ukraine says it needs.