“It will be official in the next few days”: is Germany already preparing to deliver Leopards?     Daily mirror

“It will be official in the next few days”: is Germany already preparing to deliver Leopards? Daily mirror

“Free the Leopards” is a popular hashtag on social media in response to the approval of the delivery of Leopard 1 and Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine. And the closer the Ukraine Contact Group meeting at Ramstein Air Base on Friday, the louder those calls will be.

FDP Faber politician after frontal visit “I’m sure we will deliver Leopard 1 and Leopard 2”

“We set the bar too high at the turn of the century and then we didn’t meet our own standards. The government has recently acted as a brake, you have to get away from that image,” says FDP defense politician Marcus Faber in an interview with Tagesspiegel.

Der Tagesspiegel Ukraine Newsletter This is where 50,000 readers find out all the important news about the war every day.

Faber recently returned from a nine-day trip to Ukraine and reports growing impatience. “I haven’t had a conversation in nine days where it didn’t come up and where there wasn’t a misunderstanding about it.” As Faber reports, the debate could start soon.

“I’m sure we will deliver Leopard 1 and Leopard 2, which will be made official in the next few days and should take a lot of pressure off Ukraine.” says Faber.

Ramstein offers yet another opportunity to make a positive contribution, after so many European partners have taken the lead, explains the FDP politician.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday, representatives of several EU countries, such as the presidents of Poland and Lithuania and the foreign minister of Finland, also urged Germany to quickly approve the delivery of Leopard tanks to Ukraine. Poland is ready to deliver 14 Leopard tanks, President Andrzej Duda said. However, approval from the manufacturing country, Germany, is required for this. “We hope and try to organize greater support for Ukraine,” he said.

We set the bar very high at the turn of the century and then we didn’t meet our own standards.

Marcus FaberMember of the Defense Commission (FDP)

No official confirmation from the federal government

There is no official confirmation from the federal government that additional German military aid to Ukraine can be decided at the Ramstein meeting. Tagesspiegel learned from the Ministry of Defense on Tuesday that no formal consultation had begun on where the Bundeswehr’s Leopard tanks could be superfluous if needed.

At the same time, it was emphasized in ministerial circles that the military leadership was constantly trying to prepare for all eventualities. In addition, the issue of main battle tanks will play a role in Ramstein simply because other partner nations have announced that they will address it – future Minister Boris Pistorius must also be prepared for this. Ultimately, however, it was heard in circles that this decision would be taken in the Chancellery.

According to information from the Tagesspiegel, the decision to deliver the Leopard tanks is not yet being worked on there. The corresponding statement from the ranks of the coalition is therefore seen as a renewed attempt to increase pressure on Chancellor Olaf Scholz over the matter.

We always act together with our allies and friends – we never walk alone.

Olaf ScholzFederal Chancellor (SPD)

In an interview with Bloomberg News Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait, Scholz said he was in talks with allies about possible delivery of heavy tanks to Ukraine. At the same time, however, he cautioned that any announcements must be made in tandem with others.

“I’m always thinking about the situation,” Scholz told Bloomberg News. “We always act together with our allies and friends – we never walk alone.”

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The industry could deliver faster

In any case, a possible delivery decision will not fail because of the industry. As the “FAZ” reported on Tuesday, it could deliver ten to 15 refurbished Leopard 2 main battle tanks this year, which could then be made available to Ukraine.

Rheinmetall boss Armin Papperger had previously stated in an interview that his company would not be able to deliver additional main battle tanks until 2024. According to “FAZ”, delivery is already possible from October or November – but with a condition: must be ordered immediately, immediate decision is needed.

There could also be a quicker resolution to the debate over the Leopard 1 tanks, which would take a year to convert, says defense politician Marcus Faber. “They are also with another company that could supply the first vehicles as early as spring.”

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