Better if Berlin would directly send a squadron of a dozen machines while waiting for NATO’s European allies (Poland, Baltic States, Greece, etc.) or even Finland, which has started an accession process, to decide to send units too . Chancellor Olaf Scholz will address the Bundestag this Wednesday afternoon to announce this decision and authorize countries with Leopard 2 to do the same.
At a press conference in Berlin with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday, Germany’s new Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said he had “explicitly encouraged partner countries that have operational Leopard tanks to train the Ukrainian armed forces on these tanks.” The NATO chief welcomed the “clear message” from Pistorius, who had been in office for just under a week.
A German position that could spread: According to CNN, US President Joe Biden is currently finalizing the shipment of the M1 Abrams heavy tank and could announce this later this week.
A significant impact
The epilogue of very long negotiations with Germany, despite ever more pressing demands from Kyiv. Germany had not wanted to send main battle tanks into a fight against Russia since the terrible and deadly war in the East in 1941-1945 to avoid any risk of escalation. For a few weeks, Olaf Scholz had come under pressure, especially from Poland, but also within his own government, to agree.
“Such supplies will not do Russian-German relations any good,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. With these deliveries, Ukraine would have the best western heavy tanks, as the UK had promised her 12 Challenger 2s. Meanwhile, maybe French Leclercs.
According to observers, these armored vehicles are likely to have a significant impact on Ukrainians given the steamroller of Russian troops gaining some ground on Ukraine’s eastern front.