BERLIN, Jan 18 (Portal) – Germany will allow German-made tanks to be sent to Ukraine to help in its defense against Russia if the United States agrees to send its own tanks, a German government source has said to Portal.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz has repeatedly emphasized the requirement behind closed doors in the past few days, the person said on condition of anonymity.
Western allies meet Friday at a US airbase in Germany to offer more weapons to Ukraine.
Attention is particularly focused on Germany, which has veto power over any decision to deploy its Leopard tanks, which are deployed by NATO-allied armies across Europe and are widely seen as best suited to Ukraine.
Polish President Andrzej Duda told participants at an economic forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday that he feared Russia was preparing a new offensive in Ukraine within months and it was therefore crucial to supplement the government in Kyiv with modern tanks and missiles support.
Poland and Finland have already announced that they will send Leopard tanks if Germany agrees to them.
Berlin says a decision will be the first item on the agenda of Boris Pistorius, Germany’s new defense minister.
Pistorius receives US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Thursday.
The United States has allocated around $24 billion to help Ukraine defend itself against Russian forces.
US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said President Joe Biden’s administration is expected to next approve Stryker armored vehicles for Ukraine but is unwilling to send its own tanks, including the M1 Abrams .
This week Britain upped the pressure on Berlin by becoming the first western country to send western tanks and pledging a squadron of its challengers, but the Leopards are seen as the best choice to provide Ukraine with a large armored force.
The Wall Street Journal, citing senior German officials, first reported on the tank state of Berlin on Wednesday. The newspapers Süddeutsche Zeitung and Bild also had similar reports.
Reporting by Andreas Rinke in Berlin and Maria Ponnezhath in Bengaluru; writing by Tom Sims; Edited by Sabine Wollrab and Grant McCool
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