Germany agrees to supply advanced main battle tanks to Ukraine

Germany agrees to supply advanced main battle tanks to Ukraine

  • US News
  • January 25, 2023
  • No Comment
  • 3

63d10a2b2500006b00a22f29 News For Everyone Zoohouse News

BERLIN (AP) – The German government has confirmed that it will provide Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine and will grant requests from other countries to do the same.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Wednesday that Germany was acting “in close coordination” with its allies.

In a statement, the government said it would initially provide Ukraine with a company of Leopard 2 A6 tanks, comprising 14 vehicles, from its own stocks. The aim is to provide Ukraine, together with other countries, with a total of two battalions.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

BERLIN (dpa) – After weeks of hesitation and growing impatience among Germany’s allies, Chancellor Olaf Scholz was due to announce on Wednesday that his government would agree to the delivery of German-made main battle tanks to Ukraine.

The long-awaited decision came almost a year after US officials said a tentative agreement had been reached under which the United States would send M1 Abrams tanks to help Kyiv push back Russian forces holed up in the east beginning of war.

Scholz had insisted that any move to equip Ukraine with powerful Leopard 2 tanks had to be closely coordinated with Germany’s allies, most notably the United States. By getting Washington to use some of its own tanks, Berlin hopes to reduce the risk of a Russian backlash.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described the German and American intentions with the tanks as “a rather catastrophic plan”.

“I am convinced that many specialists understand the absurdity of this idea,” Peskov told reporters on Wednesday.

“From a technological point of view alone, this is a pretty disastrous plan. The main thing is that this is a completely obvious overestimation of the potential (supply of tanks) that would increase the Armed Forces of Ukraine. It’s another fallacy, a pretty profound one,” the Kremlin official said.

Peskov predicted: “These tanks will burn down like any other. … Except they cost a lot, and that will fall on the shoulders of European taxpayers,” he added.

Ekkehard Brose, head of the Bundeswehr’s Federal Academy for Security Policy, said it was crucial to involve the United States in the decision to avoid leaving Europe alone in the face of a nuclear-armed Russia.

But he also pointed to the deeper historical significance of the decision.

“German tanks will once again face off against Russian tanks in Ukraine,” he said, adding that it was “not an easy thought” for Germany, which takes its responsibility for the horrors of World War II seriously.

“And yet it’s the right decision,” Brose said, arguing that it’s up to western democracies to help Ukraine stop the Russian military campaign.

Members of Scholz’s three-party coalition government welcomed the news ahead of the official announcement, which is expected in a speech to parliament early this afternoon.

“The leopard is liberated!” said German MEP Katrin Göring-Eckardt, a senior Green Party MEP.

Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, a member of the FDP and chair of the parliamentary defense committee, said the news was “a relief for a battered and brave Ukraine”.

“The decision to approve (requests from other countries) and deliver the Leopard 2 was arduous but inevitable,” she said.

Strack-Zimmermann had been one of the loudest voices calling for a speedy decision on arms deliveries to the Ukraine.

However, two smaller opposition parties criticized the move.

The far-right Alternative for Germany called the decision “irresponsible and dangerous”.

“Germany runs the risk of being dragged directly into the war as a result,” said their co-leader Tino Chrupalla. The party, known by its acronym AfD, maintains friendly relations with Russia.

The Left Party, which also has historical ties to Moscow, warned of a possible escalation of the conflict.

“The delivery of Leopard main battle tanks, which ends another taboo, may bring us closer to a third world war than to peace in Europe,” said the party’s parliamentary group leader, Dietmar Bartsch, the German Press Agency.

Recent opinion polls show that German voters are divided on this idea.

Pressure on Scholz mounted this week after Poland formally asked Germany to allow Polish-held Leopard 2 tanks to be sent to Ukraine.

Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki accused Germany of “hesitation, evasion and behavior that was difficult to understand” when it came to supplying tanks and claimed that Berlin apparently did not want to help Ukraine.

Other European nations have also signaled their willingness to part with their own main battle tanks as part of a larger coalition.

The German weekly Der Spiegel reported that Berlin could initially authorize the delivery of a tank company with 14 vehicles.

But Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made it clear late Tuesday that he hopes to receive a larger number of tanks from western allies.

“It’s not about five or ten or 15 tanks. The need is greater,” he said.

Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine:

Related post

Loneliness is an epidemic – Dr.  Joseph Mercola

Loneliness is an epidemic – Dr. Joseph Mercola

25 questions with Dr. Mercola | FULL VERSION He may be a bestselling author and one of the most visited doctors…
Nissan is reportedly studying an electric pickup truck for the US

Nissan is reportedly studying an electric pickup truck for…

Nissan has launched a handful of concepts in 2021 that preview potential designs for the brand’s upcoming EV portfolio. One of…
What’s behind the rise of caviar bars?

What’s behind the rise of caviar bars?

At Chicago’s Heritage Restaurant & Caviar Bar, restaurateur Guy Meikle personally guides guests through what may be their first encounter with…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *