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Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that the Netherlands is considering buying 18 Leopard 2 main battle tanks, which it leases from Germany, to provide them to Ukraine.
“We leased them (tanks), which means we can buy them and donate (to Ukraine),” he said in an interview with the Frankfurte Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper. “But there is no decision yet,” he added.
Earlier in the day, ABC News reported that 12 countries have agreed to give Ukraine around 100 Leopard 2 tanks after Berlin authorizes the re-export of the German-made tanks. The agreements were made at the recent Ramstein defense summit on Jan. 20, according to the official cited by ABC News.
At the summit, Berlin made no decision to provide the long-anticipated Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine or approve their supply by other countries. As tanks are made in Germany, the country’s approval is needed for their delivery.
However, German magazine Der Spiegel reported on Jan. 24, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, that the country will provide Ukraine with long-anticipated tanks while also authorizing the supply of Leopard 2 tanks by third countries. Berlin hasn’t confirmed the report yet.