Ukrainian war: Norway delivers eight Leopard 2s

Ukraine war: Norway delivers eight Leopard 2s

Eight countries want to supply Ukraine with Leopard main battle tanks. But apparently it is not easy to bring together the two promised battalions.

02/14/2023 | Update: 02/14/2023 – 4:28 pm | by Frank Specht

Training Ukrainian soldiers on the Leopard 2 in Poland © Portal

Berlin For a long time, the German government looked like a loser when it came to supplying Ukraine with heavy main battle tanks. And the impression was created that if Germany finally gave up its reluctance and approved the transfer of Leopard tanks, Ukraine would be flooded with tank supplies.

Of the modern A6 variant of the Leopard 2, only 14 from Germany and three from Portugal are available so far, Federal Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) said Tuesday at a meeting with his NATO colleagues in Brussels. Things don’t look much better for the Polish-organized formation of a battalion of older A4-version Leopard 2 models.

Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) appealed to European states to supply main battle tanks as promised. “I’m very happy that there is a willingness from many to do this,” he said during a visit to Belgium. “I also hope that happens.”

On Tuesday, Norway announced plans to deliver eight of its 36 Leopard 2s to Ukraine. “It is more important than ever to support Ukraine’s fight for freedom,” said Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Störe. The Scandinavian country purchased used Leopard 2A4s in 2004. A few days ago it was announced that the Oslo government wants to buy 54 modern Leopard 2A7s from the manufacturer Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW).

Defense Minister Boris Pistorius meets his NATO counterparts in Brussels © dpa

The promised four Leopard 2s from Canada have now arrived in Poland. Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand tweeted on Tuesday that about 25 Canadian troops had been sent to Poland to train Ukrainian crews on tanks. The Polish army also began training.

Bundeswehr training is scheduled to start this week

The Bundeswehr wants to start this week in the military training area in Munster, Lower Saxony. This takes about six to eight weeks. At a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Defense Minister Oleksiy Resnikov in Kiev last week, Federal Defense Minister Pistorius said Germany’s promised 14 Leopard 2s must be delivered to Ukraine by end of March.

According to the US Department of Defense, eight nations are now willing to supply Ukraine with Leopard tanks. In addition to Germany, Poland, Canada, Portugal and Norway, they are Spain, Denmark and the Netherlands.

According to a report by the Europa Press news agency, Spain wants to bring 55 Ukrainian crew members and technicians to the country to train them on the Leopard 2. According to the report, Defense Minister Margarita Robles left open how many tanks Spain will deliver in meeting with his NATO colleagues in Brussels.

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