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Czech Republic denies plans to supply Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

by The Kyiv Independent news desk January 21, 2023 12:43 PM 2 min read
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On Jan. 20, the Czech Defense Ministry denied media reports that the Czech Republic and Slovakia are ready to supply Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

The media reports claimed that the Czech Republic and Slovakia were willing to deliver to Ukraine the Leopard 2 tanks supplied by Germany. The Leopard 2 tanks had been delivered by Germany in exchange for Slovak and Czech T-72 tanks sent to Ukraine.

No one has asked or invited the Czech Republic to provide these Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, the Czech Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry also said that “nothing of the sort” had been discussed during the Jan. 20 meeting at the Ramstein Air Base, which gathered defense ministers from some 50 countries to discuss further support for Ukraine.

“The speculation that the Czech Republic would receive U.S.-made Abrams tanks in exchange for Leopard tanks is equally false,” the ministry added.

Ukraine war latest: Ramstein ends disappointingly for Kyiv as Ukrainian troops hold out Russia’s assault near Bakhmut

At the Ramstein meeting, Ukraine's allies failed to reach an agreement on supplying German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine due to Germany's reluctance to approve tank deliveries.

Poland, Finland and other countries are ready to supply German-made Leopard tanks to Ukraine but they need approval from the German government.

Since the beginning of Russia's all-out invasion in February 2022, the German government has been criticized for delaying and blocking arms supplies to Ukraine. Amid pressure from the media, the public and NATO allies, Germany has increased its arms supplies to Ukraine but German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is still accused of being reluctant to antagonize Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.

There have been media reports that Scholz had agreed to supply Leopard 2 tanks only if the U.S. delivers Abrams tanks to Ukraine. The German government has denied the reports.

The U.S. has so far refused to supply Abrams tanks to Ukraine.

Some U.S. politicians have called on the U.S. government to supply Abrams tanks to Ukraine as a way to get the Germans on board.

"Scholz wants to be in lockstep with the US," Rep. Seth Moulton told CNN after discussing the matter with Scholz in Davos. "I think the US should give a few tanks if that is what is required for Germany. That is called leadership."

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