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El Pais: Spain prepares to supply 4-6 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine
Spain plans to provide Ukraine with four to six German-made Leopard 2 tanks a week after Berlin had authorized its allies to export them to the third country, the Spanish newspaper El Pais reported on Feb. 1, citing unnamed government sources.
The quantity will depend on the condition of Kyiv’s long-sought heavy weapons kept in storage and how many Leopards its allies are preparing to send to Ukraine, according to the sources.
The government has not disclosed how many Leopards it plans to send to Ukraine, whose troops continue to defend against fierce Russian assaults in the east and southeast of the country. After Berlin gave the green light on Jan. 25 for Leopard operators, such as Spain, to send their stocks to Ukraine, many nations have announced plans for the long-anticipated deliveries.
On Jan. 25, Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles told EFE news agency that her country is ready to send the Leopards to Ukraine, but like other leaders, did not disclose the quantity.
Spanish broadcaster RTVE reported on Jan. 26, citing Robles, that Spain could supply the Leopards currently at a military base in Zaragoza, but she reportedly added that “some of them cannot be used, and we are going to analyze which ones can be refurbed."
Though stored in varying conditions, Spain has 53 of the 108 Leopard 2A4 tanks at the Zaragoza military base, Reuters reported, citing Felix Arteaga, a security and defense researcher at the Madrid-based Elcano think-tank.
In total, Ukraine is set to receive 120-140 tanks in the first round of deliveries from Western allies, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said during a Jan. 31 briefing. He added that they would include German-made Leopard 2 tanks, British Challenger 2 tanks, American M1 Abrams tanks, and "we look forward to" French-made Leclerc tanks.