Germany Has Not Yet Decided Whether To Contribute Tanks To The Ukraine Conflict
Despite pressure on Berlin to respond, Germany has not yet decided whether to deploy Leopard tanks to Ukraine or to let other nations give theirs.
More armoured vehicles and air defence systems would be sent, it was decided at a conference on Friday to coordinate military contributions for Kiev.
However, in order to fend off Russia, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had issued a special need for new tanks.
Germany’s Refusal To Supply Tanks Was Criticised By Poland’s Foreign Minister
“It is not a decision-making exercise to arm Ukraine in order to stave off Russian aggression. There is actual bloodshed in Ukraine. The cost of delaying Leopard delivery is this. We must act immediately “Zbigniew Rau tweeted something.
Although Western nations invested billions in other weapons, Ukraine was not satisfied with the outcome since Germany had not committed to providing tanks.
Because German-made Leopard 2 tanks are simple to repair and built to compete with Russian T-90 tanks, which are being employed in the invasion, Ukraine wants them.
More than 2,000 Leopard 2 tanks are thought to exist in all, and according to President Zelensky, 300 of them would be enough to guarantee victory against Russia.
However, until Berlin provides the all-clear, other nations who wish to supply Leopard 2s built in Germany, including Poland and Finland, are unable to do so.
Ukraine already possesses tanks, but they are outdated, Soviet-era vehicles that are prone to breakdowns and lack current Nato tanks’ improved armour and powerful laser rangefinders.
The nation understands that deploying a sizeable force of western-provided armour is its best—and maybe only—chance of thwarting the massive attack Russia is anticipated to undertake in the next months.
In a video speech on Friday night, Mr. Zelensky said that providing his nation with tanks was “the only option” and that “each arrangement must be carried through as swiftly as possible – for our defence.”
Germany reportedly decided to give the tanks earlier this week, with the US agreeing to send its highly developed M1 Abrams tank in exchange.
However, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin claimed Berlin was waiting on the US to make the first step in his remarks during Friday’s conference of 54 nations at the Ramstein air facility in Germany.
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“They are a trustworthy ally, they have been that way for a very, very long time, and I honestly think that they will continue to be a loyal ally moving ahead,” Mr. Austin said in reference to Germany’s broader role to the defence of Ukraine.
“I don’t have any announcements to make on M1s [Abrams tanks], and you heard the German minister of defence say that they haven’t made a decision on Leopards,” he told reporters when asked about other nations giving Ukraine tanks.
Other nations, like the UK, which will contribute 14 Challenger 2 tanks, have also pledged to send tanks.
Despite reservations over the Abrams tanks, the US this week pledged further help totalling more than $2.5 billion (£2 billion), which included armoured vehicles.
In addition to other supplies, the Pentagon offered an additional 90 Stryker troop carriers, 59 Bradley armoured vehicles, and Avenger air defence systems.
Following their summit on Thursday in Estonia, nine European governments also committed to provide more of their own help. They comprised:
- Brimstone missiles: 600 in the UK
- Denmark: 19 self-propelled howitzers built in France called Caesar (cannon)
- Estonia has anti-tank grenade launchers, support vehicles, howitzers, and ammunition.
- Stinger air defence systems, two helicopters, and drones are deployed in Latvia.
- Lithuania: two helicopters and anti-aircraft weapons
- S-60 anti-aircraft weapons with 70,000 rounds are in Poland.
- Czech Republic: Continue to manufacture howitzers, APCs, and heavy calibre ammunition
- Netherlands – information about help is anticipated on Friday
As a result, Ukraine is now in a precarious position, getting armoured vehicles and air defence equipment but not the armour it so urgently needs.