Sources: Germany agrees to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine
Germany has agreed to send two Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine, sources said Tuesday, after weeks of pressure amid Kyiv’s fight against a Russian invasion.
Sources told the German News Agency (dpa), on Tuesday, that Chancellor Olaf Scholz has agreed to provide Ukraine with two Leopard battle tanks. Sources in government circles said that Berlin had also given other countries, such as Poland, permission to re-export German-made tanks to Ukraine.
Scholz has held out for months against the growing chorus of people urging him to send tanks into Kyiv — not only Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky but also NATO allies and members of his coalition government.
And Zelensky took a particularly hard line, saying Berlin’s indecision was taking Ukrainian lives. Schultz argued that he needed to be in touch with the United States, which has not yet sent Ukraine its main battle tanks.
But the Wall Street Journal and other US media reported on Tuesday that the Biden administration is now preparing to reverse course and send Abrams tanks into Ukraine.
Germany has come under intense pressure in recent weeks to supply battle tanks to Ukraine, but Berlin has repeatedly said it will not act alone on the issue.
Earlier on Tuesday, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg warned that Russia was preparing new attacks, and called on Germany and allies to provide Ukraine with heavier and more advanced systems.
And according to Der Spiegel magazine, the United States and France will also step up military support for embattled Ukraine, and send battle tanks to the country.