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Spain to train Ukrainian soldiers on Leopard tanks starting this week

by The Kyiv Independent news desk February 14, 2023 9:23 PM 1 min read
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55 Ukrainian soldiers will depart to Spain by the end of the week for training on how to operate Leopard tanks, Spanish defense Minister Margarita Robles said in Brussels on Feb. 14.

Spain is part of a coalition which includes Germany, Poland, Norway, and Canada that has promised to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine. The US and the UK have also pledged tanks.

The Spanish defense minister did not specify how many tanks Spain would transfer from their stocks to Ukraine. The Spanish newspaper El Pais reported on Feb. 1 that Spain may send up to six tanks in total, citing unnamed government sources.

Ukrainian soldiers are already undergoing training to operate Leopard tanks in Germany. Speaking on Ukrainian television, the German foreign minister said on Feb. 14 that Ukrainian tank crews "could return to Ukraine together with the tanks."

Other European operators of Leopard tanks have declined to help train Ukrainian soldiers. Euractiv reported on Jan. 31 that Tanner had agreed with Hungarian defense minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky that neither Austria nor Hungary would supply Ukraine with weapons.

Tanner told Ö1 radio station on Feb. 13 that Austria would not train Ukrainian troops either, citing neutrality.

However, the Irish Times reported in October 2022 that neutral Ireland pledged different means of aid to Ukraine, offering to train Ukrainian soldiers to clear Russian landmines.

Editorial: Arming Ukraine won’t escalate war. Reluctance to do so will
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