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Reuters: Germany will green light Leopard tanks if US sends Ukraine its Abrams

by The Kyiv Independent news deskJanuary 19, 2023 3:38 am

Germany will give the go-ahead for German-made Leopard tanks to be sent to Ukraine if the United States agrees to send its own Abrams tanks, a government official told Reuters. 

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has made this demand several times in recent days behind closed doors as he faces pressure from other European countries to provide Ukraine with the tanks, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity, Reuters reported

The next major U.S. military package to be announced on Jan. 20 for Ukraine may not include American M1 Abrams tanks, according to three undisclosed U.S. officials cited by Politico. Bloomberg reported on Jan. 18 that the package could include Stryker combat vehicles. 

Members of the European Parliament on Jan. 18 urged Germany to transfer Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine "without further delay," saying that Ukraine "urgently needs military aid and heavy weaponry to win the war." 

Both Poland and Finland have expressed their readiness to send their Leopard tanks to Ukraine, but since the tanks are produced in Germany, handing them over to Ukraine requires Berlin's approval. 

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Jan. 16 that “there is no reason to block support for Kyiv and delay it indefinitely,” urging the German government to provide Ukraine with “all types of weapons." 

Bloomberg reported on Jan. 13, citing two unnamed officials familiar with the matter, that Germany will likely make a decision on whether to supply Leopard tanks to Ukraine ahead of the Ramstein summit, scheduled for Jan. 20.

The Kyiv Independent news desk
The Kyiv Independent news desk

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