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Germany, Denmark, Netherlands to send 100 Leopard 1 tanks to Ukraine

08.02.2023 07:30
Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands have said they intend to supply Ukraine with at least 100 refurbished Leopard 1 battle tanks. 
The German-made Leopard 1 tank.
The German-made Leopard 1 tank.Sergiovillaseca, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The plan was announced by the defence ministers of the three countries on Tuesday, Britain’s The Guardian newspaper reported.

100 Leopard 1s for Ukraine

The defence chiefs said in a joint statement that the delivery of the older Leopard 1 tanks was part of a drive “to support Ukraine in their endeavour to withstand Russian aggression”.

The Leopard 1 machines will “significantly enhance Ukraine’s military potential for the restoration of their violated territorial integrity”, the statement added.

The supply of Leopard 1 tanks will take place “within the coming months” and include logistical support and training, the document said, as quoted by The Guardian.

Meanwhile, Germany’s defence ministry said that the Leopard 2A6 battle tanks would be delivered to Ukraine by the end of March, Polish state news agency PAP reported. 

The CEO of the German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall has also said the company expects to send 20 to 25 Leopard 1 tanks to Ukraine in 2023. 

These developments came as Germany’s Defence Minister Boris Pistorius made a surprise visit to the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on Tuesday.

Also on Tuesday, Ukraine’s top national security official, Oleksiy Danilov, stated he was confident his country would eventually be provided with US-made F-16 fighter jets. 

Danilov, who is the secretary of Ukraine’s national security and defence council, told US broadcaster CNN it was “only a matter of time” before his country got the F-16s.

The official also suggested Ukraine may be able to strike Russia on its own territory, not only in occupied Ukraine, The Guardian reported.

Tanks for Ukraine

Last month, Germany and the United States, as well as Poland, among other Western countries, announced they would provide modern tanks to help Ukraine fight the Russian invasion.

Germany agreed to allow partner countries to re-export German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. 

Berlin's approval came after weeks of diplomatic pressure on Germany, notably by Poland, to supply battle tanks to Ukraine and to allow partners to support Kyiv with some of their own German-made tanks. 

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in an interview with Canadian television that Poland would send an additional 60 battle tanks to Ukraine, on top of the 14 German-made Leopards it had already promised.

Ukraine's ambassador to Paris, Vadym Omelchenko, said on January 27 that Western countries had promised to send a total of 321 heavy tanks to Ukraine to help it battle Russia's invasion.

Wednesday is day 350 of Russia’s war against Ukraine. 


Source: PAP, The Guardian, CNN