German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, during a speech at a meeting of the Council of the European Union (EU) in Brussels, turned to European leaders with a request to transfer Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. This was reported on February 10 by Bloomberg.
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“I took the opportunity to ask them for active help. My impression is that this will work. But it will not be easy,” he commented after the meeting of the EU Council.
At the end of January, the German government confirmed the decision to send German Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. Germany is ready to form two tank battalions, at the first stage, Berlin will send a company of 14 tanks from the Bundeswehr stocks.
In addition, Berlin agreed to grant permission for the re-export of German Leopard 2 tanks to Kyiv to those countries that plan such deliveries from their stocks. As a result, behind the decision of Berlin, plans to supply tanks to Ukraine were announced in Spain, Finland, Portugal, the Netherlands and Norway.
On February 7, during a visit to Kyiv, the new German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius presented his Ukrainian colleague Alexei Reznikov with a toy model of the German Leopard 2 tank. In response, Reznikov thanked the entire German people and stated that “soon there will be more of them (tanks).”
On the same day, it became known that the Federal Security Council of the German government also approved the transfer of 178 Leopard 1 tanks to Ukraine. However, it will not be possible to deliver them before 2024. In addition, there are problems with 105 mm ammunition for the guns of these tanks.
On February 4, Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa announced that Lisbon would supply Kyiv with Leopard 2 battle tanks, but did not specify their exact number. Whereas in Spain on February 2 they announced that the country would not transfer Leopard tanks to Ukraine because of their poor condition. Instead, Madrid decided to send 20 M113 armored personnel carriers to Kyiv.
On February 2, Russian President Vladimir Putin called it unbelievable that Russia would again be threatened by German tanks. The head of state drew a parallel with the times of the Great Patriotic War. According to him, the enemies are again going to fight with Russia on the soil of Ukraine “by the hands of the last of Hitler, the hands of Bandera.”