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German defense minister: NATO countries to send total of 160 tanks to Ukraine
NATO countries plan to send two battalions of German Leopard-2 battle tanks and four battalions of Leopard-1 tanks to Ukraine, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius told Die Welt.
The 160 tanks account for roughly half the 300 tanks requested by Ukraine for its expected spring/summer counteroffensive.
Pistorius said that Poland, together with the allies, would send two battalions of Leopard-2 to Kyiv for a total of 60 tanks.
Four battalions of 100 Leopard-1 tanks could be delivered by the end of the year, he said.
“I do not see a scenario in which it would be possible to send additional Leopards to Ukraine beyond what was announced. Our reserves, like those of other countries, are limited,” he said.
Leopard 2 battle tanks promised for Ukraine by Germany are to be delivered in early April, Pistorius said on Jan. 26, cited by Deutsche Welle.
Pistorius said on Feb. 26 that NATO could likely provide Ukraine with 62 German-made Leopard 2 main battle tanks.
The minister added at the time that overall, Ukraine's Western partners would theoretically be capable of handing over 300 tanks, as requested by Kyiv, contradicting a statement on Feb. 15 saying Western allies will not be able to supply Ukraine with two entire battalions of Leopard 2 tanks previously promised.
However, Pistorius doubted that Germany would approve additional Leopard 2 deliveries, as the country's industry must first replace the tanks in Germany's stocks.