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Spain postpones Leopard 2 tank transfer to Ukraine
Six of Spain’s Leopard 2A4 tanks promised to Ukraine will leave the country in the second half of April, Spanish defense minister Margarita Robles said on TVE on April 5, as cited by Reuters.
This effectively postpones the deadline of the delivery, which was originally set to shortly “after [Catholic] Easter.”
While Spain has promised to send at least ten of its German-made tanks to Ukraine already in 2022, the transfer was delayed due to their poor technical condition. The tanks have not been used since the 1990s and require repairs and combat readiness testing.
Apart from the six that are to be sent in April, the Spanish Defence Minister stated that the military had begun the repairs on the other four.
According to US Defense Secretary Austin Lloyd, nine Western countries have pledged to supply over 150 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.
So far, Germany has delivered 18 Leopard 2A6 tanks, Portugal has delivered three, and Poland has transferred 14 of 2A4 variants. Britain has also delivered 14 Challenger 2 tanks.
Modern Western tanks can play a crucial role in Ukraine’s planned spring counter-offensive. However, critics have pointed out that their piecemeal delivery may hamper their strategic effectiveness.