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Spain, Netherlands, Sweden may supply Western tanks to Ukraine.
Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles said on Jan. 25 that Madrid was open to providing Ukraine with German-made Leopard 2 tanks.
Spain joins a group of European countries preparing to transfer powerful Leopards to Ukraine, whose soldiers are braving Russia’s brutal assaults in the east and south of the country.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte also said in an interview published on Jan. 24 that the Netherlands is considering delivering 18 Leopards to Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Swedish Defense Minister Paul Johnson said he does not rule out sending its Stridsvagn 122 tanks to Ukraine if Germany greenlights Leopards for Ukraine, Sweden's Svenska Dagbladet newspaper reported on Jan. 25.
Johnson said that “currently, there are no preparations for the transfer of tanks from Sweden, but it is possible that this may happen later.”
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s office on Jan. 25 made a U-turn decision, confirming that Berlin would send 14 Leopards to Ukraine and allow other countries, such as Spain and the Netherlands, to do the same.
Previously the German government had been reluctant to approve Leopard 2 deliveries but eventually succumbed under pressure from the media and allies.
Following the announcement of the U-turn decision, the German government said that a program for Ukrainian troops to train on Leopards is set to “begin quickly” in Germany.
The government added in the statement that the goal is to quickly assemble two battalions of Leopards.
Each battalion usually consists of about 40 tanks, meaning that European countries could be preparing to supply approximately 80 tanks to Ukraine.
On Jan. 24, ABC News reported, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, that there were 12 countries ready to give about 100 Leopards to Ukraine if Germany greenlights it.
Compared with Soviet tanks, which Ukraine and Russia currently use on the battlefield, the mobility and firepower of Western equipment could help Ukraine launch more counteroffensive operations.