The German Government will send. Cheetah 2 Tanks will be sent to Ukraine, he announced Wednesday, after weeks of diplomatic pressure for the move.
The decision to send the tanks is a historic moment for Kyiv in its support for the West in the days since. Intense stress from some of its NATO partners over Berlin.
Chancellor Olaf Schulz told his cabinet of his decision that Germany would further strengthen its military support for Ukraine, German government spokesman Stefan Habstreit said. He said that the federal government has decided to provide Leopard 2 battle tanks to the armed forces of Ukraine.
It is the result of intensive consultation with Germany’s closest European and international partners. This decision follows our well-established line of supporting Ukraine to the best of our ability.
The goal is to assemble two tank battalions with Leopard 2 tanks for Ukraine. The government announced that in the first phase, Germany would deliver a company of 14 Leopard 2 A6 tanks from Bundeswehr stock, with training of Ukrainian crews rapidly beginning in Germany. Apart from training, the package will also include logistics, ammunition and systems maintenance.
Germany will also allow other countries to export battle tanks, it said on Wednesday. Poland on Tuesday Formally asked for approval Germany is to transfer some of its German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.
Several European countries also own some leopards, and Poland tried to re-export them to Ukraine even if Germany was not involved.
Berlin’s announcement came shortly after US officials revealed on Tuesday that the Biden administration was finalizing plans to send US-made tanks to Ukraine. Germany signaled to the US last week that it would not send its Leopard tanks until the US also agreed to send its M1 Abrams tanks.
Sending Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine would give Kyiv’s forces a modern and powerful military vehicle ahead of a possible Russian spring offensive. It would also come as a blow to the Kremlin, which has seen an increase in its drive to equip Ukrainian troops with high-tech fighting systems as Russia’s ground war nears the one-year mark.
Germany initially resisted the growing drumbeat of Western pressure to send some tanks to Ukraine, with new German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius repeatedly asking for more time and insisting the move was for Berlin. Will come with pros and cons.