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German defense minister says Ukraine to receive fewer Leopard tanks than promised

by The Kyiv Independent news desk February 15, 2023 9:13 PM 1 min read
Boris Pistorius, Minister of Defense of Germany, listens to speeches during the Ukraine Defence Contact Group meeting at NATO headquarters during the first day of a North Atlantic Council meeting on Feb. 14, 2023, in Brussels. (Omar Havana via Getty Images)
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Western allies will not be able to supply Ukraine with two full battalions of Leopard 2 tanks as they previously promised, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said on Feb. 15, according to Bloomberg.

Only Germany and Portugal promised to send the A6 version of Leopard 2 battle tanks, with 14 pledged by Berlin and three by the Portuguese government, Pistorius told reporters after a meeting of NATO ministers in Brussels. "We will not reach the size of a battalion," he said.

A standard Ukrainian battalion consists of 31 tanks.

Meanwhile, Poland, along with Norway, Canada, Spain, and Finland, managed to put together a battalion of the older A4 model of Leopards, Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said, cited by Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.

However, according to Pistorius, many of these tanks are in poor condition and need repairs before they can be sent.

The battalion of Leopard 2A4 tanks will only arrive in Ukraine at the end of April, the minister added.

On Feb. 14, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the coalition of countries working on providing Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks included Germany, Poland, Canada, Portugal, Spain, Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands.

Later on the day, though, the governments of the Netherlands and Denmark announced that neither country would deliver Leopard 2 tanks, the German news source Welt reported.

Piecemeal tank delivery schedule can limit their effectiveness in Ukraine
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