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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Germany And U.S. Will Send Battle Tanks To Ukraine In Major Policy Reversal

Top line

Germany to supply Ukraine with heavy main battle tanks, green-light plan for allies, Chancellor Olaf Scholz Announce On Wednesday, the US will deliver its own Abrams tanks – a U-turn after months of international pressure and marking a major boost in Western military aid to Kyiv.

key facts

Scholz announced on Wednesday that Germany will send a total of 14 Leopard 2 A6 tanks to Ukraine from stocks held by its army.

The decision was taken after close consultation with allies Scholz Sayadding that the aim is to quickly establish two tank battalions in Ukraine.

Germany will train the Ukrainian army to use the tanks and provide supply packages including logistics, ammunition and system maintenance.

The United States will also send 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, President Joe Biden announced at a news conference on Wednesday, a policy reversal after months of dissent.

The German government will also approve requests from other countries to send their own Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

This removes a major hurdle for potential donors, as Germany, which manufactures the Leopard 2 and supplies them under an export license, has been reluctant to authorize shipments to Ukraine and has a veto over resale or re-export.

Spain, Poland and Norway are all It is said Planning to send some of their Leopard 2 tanks to Kyiv.

During Wednesday’s news conference, Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin wrongly expected the West’s commitment to Ukraine to “shake over time,” adding that the tanks were being delivered to help Ukraine “defend and protect Ukrainian territory.” “, should not “all” become “offensive threats to Russia.”

key background

Germany’s upheaval ended months of diplomatic wrangling over the delivery of tanks to Ukraine. Kyiv has been lobbying its Western allies for more military support, especially with a big push for tanks. Germany, uncomfortable with a public display of its military might on the world stage and with an export veto over the Leopard 2, has faced particularly strong pressure, including from allies such as Poland, to send its own tanks.Ukraine owes much of its battlefield victory and staying power to advanced weapons provided by its Western allies, which its officials say tanks are important to fend off an expected Russian counteroffensive.

chief critic

Russia meanwhile downplayed the importance of tank deliveries and accused the West of “blatant provocation”The tank will burn like every other tank,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. according to news Report. “They’re very expensive.”

key quote

Officials across much of Europe have praised Germany’s decision, including prime minister of poland Matthaus Morawiecki, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Elysee, the French government. Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis, welcome The news on Twitter featured a pun, posting a picture of a tank with a Ukrainian flag on it against a background of the Ukrainian flag, along with the words: “Tanke Schön”.


Many European countries have expressed their support for Ukraine and intend or are open to sending Kyiv Leopard 2 tanks. this include Poland, Netherlands, Finland, Spain and Norway.

further reading

Leopard 2 tanks: what are they and why does Ukraine want them? (guardian)

Republicans push to verify Russia’s compliance with nuclear treaty (Financial Times)

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