The British government has disclosed plans to deliver tanks to Ukraine to help its struggle against Russian aggression, the Financial Times reported on Jan. 11.
According to the report, U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak asked his Defense Minister Ben Wallace to "work with the partners" in the coming weeks to go "further and faster with our support for Ukraine, including the provision of tanks."
According to the report, the U.K. plans to send Challenger 2, the only main battle tank in service in the British army, manufactured in the U.K. since 1998, of which 227 are currently in service.
After over ten months of reluctance and deadlock over sending modern Western tanks to Ukraine, the report came an hour after Polish President Andrzej Duda announced the delivery of a company of modern German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.
Other European nations had previously signaled their readiness to provide the tanks, but also on condition of coordinated action between European states. On Jan. 6, Finland announced that it would be ready to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine "if Europe starts giving" them.
On Jan 10, Politico reported that France was putting increasing pressure on Berlin to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine ahead of a Franco-German summit on Jan. 22. Poland has recently exerted pressure on Germany by publicly calling for a broad coalition among Western allies to hand over Leopards.
After months of negotiations, Germany announced on Jan. 5 that it would provide Ukraine with Marder infantry fighting vehicles. The United States jointly announced it would give Ukraine 50 Bradley fighting vehicles on the same day. France said it would provide light tanks.