watch us on facebook
Germany approves delivery of older Leopard 1 tanks to Ukraine in addition to Leopard 2s.
Germany has approved the export of older Leopard 1 main battle tanks to Ukraine, the government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said on Feb. 3, as cited by Deutsche Welle.
Previously the German government had also approved the delivery of more modern Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.
Hebestreit didn't provide any further details, but Süddeutsche Zeitung reported earlier, citing sources in the government, that the Leopard 1 tanks would be released from the industrial stocks and delivered as soon as the repair works are finished.
According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung report, German companies Rheinmetall and Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesellschaft (FFG) are ready to prepare dozens of Leopard 1 tanks for delivery to Ukraine.
However, obtaining enough 105-millimeter ammunition for these tanks has been problematic, the publication added. Though Brazil has large stocks of this ammunition, its government refused to hand it over to Ukraine.
On Jan. 25, Berlin announced it would provide Kyiv with the modern version of these tanks, Leopard 2, and allow other countries to send them. Germany promised to deliver 14 Leopard 2 tanks from Bundeswehr stocks to Ukraine.
Several countries declared they would also hand over Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, following Germany's giving the green light to do it.
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.
Previously the German government had been reluctant to approve Leopard 2 deliveries but eventually succumbed under pressure from the media and allies.