German government now apparently wants to deliver Leopard tanks to Ukraine after all

The broadcaster ntv relied on information from government circles, the "Spiegel" on unspecified own information.

German government now apparently wants to deliver Leopard tanks to Ukraine after all

The broadcaster ntv relied on information from government circles, the "Spiegel" on unspecified own information. There was initially no official confirmation on request. According to the "Spiegel", the federal government also wants to agree to Leopard deliveries from other countries.

According to "Spiegel", the German tanks should initially come from Bundeswehr stocks. In the medium and long term, more battle tanks from industrial stocks could be added, but they would first have to be prepared. A company normally consists of 14 tanks.

In the US, the Wall Street Journal had previously reported that the White House could for its part give up reservations about a delivery of US tanks of the Abrams type. US President Joe Biden is now inclined to hand over a "significant number" of Abrams tanks to Ukraine, it said.

The Ukrainian head of state Zelenskyy said in his daily video address on Tuesday evening: "Our allies know the number of tanks we need." Final decisions must now be made. His country needs "more than five, ten or 15 tanks," added the president.

Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Andriy Melnyk, who was ambassador to Berlin for seven years, welcomed the apparently imminent delivery of the Leopard as a "real milestone on the way to Ukraine's victory in 2023". He, too, pushed the Funke media group for deliveries on a large scale and expressed the hope that "hundreds of battle tanks can be transferred to the front as early as March".

Kyiv has been demanding heavy battle tanks from its supporters for a long time. Germany and the USA had so far resisted it. In addition to fundamental reservations, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) had mentioned coordinated action by the allies as a prerequisite. There was also talk of the demand for tank deliveries from the USA - a condition that could now be met.

Federal Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) said on Tuesday that he had "expressly encouraged" partner countries that already have Leopard tanks to start training Ukrainian soldiers on them. According to "Spiegel", in addition to Poland, Scandinavian countries also want to deliver Leopard tanks. The "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" said that the Netherlands might also be ready to make deliveries.

Politicians from the Greens and the FDP, as well as the opposition Union, welcomed the apparently now planned delivery of the Leopard. For the Greens, the chairman of the Europe Committee in the Bundestag, Anton Hofreiter, said: "The reports that Leopard tanks are also being sent from Germany to Ukraine are very positive news." Kyiv must be supported "until the Putin regime understands that negotiations are a better option than continuing the war," he told the editorial network Germany.

The FDP defense politician Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann wrote in the short message service Twitter that the decision to release and deliver the Leopard 2 was "tough but inevitable". "It is redeeming news for the battered and brave Ukraine."

The Union also reacted positively: "Chancellor Scholz and the SPD have finally given up their crazy resistance," said the defense policy group spokesman Florian Hahn (CSU) of the Funke media group. "The expensive loss of time for Ukraine and the international damage for Germany remain." For his part, the CDU foreign policy expert Roderich Kiesewetter spoke of a "psychological signal" to Kyiv. The tanks "of course don't bring about the turning point," he said in the ZDF "heute journal". But the delivery shows Ukraine that it can win the war against Russia - also with the help of the other arms deliveries.

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