Germany postpones decision on Leopard tank delivery to Ukraine

Germany has yet to decide whether it will send German-made Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine.

“There are good reasons for the delivery, there are good reasons against it,” the country’s Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said on Friday after meeting his US and European counterparts in Ramstein, Germany.

Pistorius added that his ministry would check the country’s stocks of the Leopard tank for possible delivery to Ukraine in the next few weeks, Xinhua news agency reported.

“We are preparing for all eventualities,” he said.

The delivery of lighter Marder infantry fighting vehicles, announced in early December 2022, has been criticised by some as inadequately prepared. According to the Defence Ministry (BMVg), it was unclear at the time where the vehicles would come from.

Instead of Leopard tanks, Pistorius announced further deliveries of Marder and Gepard tanks as well as a Patriot surface-to-air missile system. With this, the value of Germany’s military support for Ukraine is to reach 3.3 billion euros ($3.6 billion).

The US, meanwhile, has increased its support to Ukraine by $2.5 billion to $26.7 billion. The new package includes 59 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles.

Other members of the NATO, such as Poland, have reiterated their intention to supply Ukraine with Leopard tanks from their own stocks. However, this would require the approval of the manufacturing country, Germany, which has not yet decided on this matter.

Russia has repeatedly said that the supply of Western weapons to Ukraine does not help resolve the conflict but prolongs the suffering of the Ukrainian people. (1 euro $1.08)

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