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Germany's Defense Minister in Kyiv, says Ukraine to receive over 100 Leopard 1 tanks

by The Kyiv Independent news desk February 7, 2023 7:23 PM 1 min read
German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius is received by Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky at the Presidential Palace in Kyiv on Feb. 7. (Kay Nietfeld/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius announced in Kyiv that Ukraine would receive over 100 older Leopard 1 battle tanks from a group of several European countries.

Pistorius arrived in Ukraine's capital on Feb. 7 to meet top Ukrainian officials, including President Volodymyr Zelensky and Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov.

Earlier on the day, Spiegel reported, citing sources in Germany's Federal Security Council, that the council had approved the supply of 178 Leopard 1 tanks from industrial stocks to Ukraine.

According to the publication, the first tanks should be delivered to Ukraine in the summer, but most of them will not arrive until 2024.

German government granted a license to export Leopard 1 tanks to Ukraine on Feb. 3.

Pistorius' visit comes two weeks after Berlin announced it would provide Kyiv with German-made Leopard 2 main battle tanks and allow other countries to send them on Jan. 25. Germany promised to deliver 14 Leopard 2 tanks from Bundeswehr stocks to Ukraine.

Reznikov posted a photo of himself holding a model of a Leopard 2 tank next to Pistorius on Twitter. "The «first» Leopard 2 has arrived in Kyiv. There will be more of them," Reznikov wrote.

Earlier, Berlin resisted pressure from its Western allies to allow delivery of Leopards to Ukraine over fears that the transfer of tanks could lead to a direct confrontation with Russia, turning down Kyiv's pleas for months.

Germany confirms provision of Leopard 2 tanks for Ukraine, green light for other countries to deliver
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