Germany should send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine to help reinforce the country’s war effort, reported Der Spiegel on the night of this terça-feira (24), attributing information to unidentified sources.
The German chancellor Olaf Scholz decided to hand over the battle tanks after “months of debate”, according to an exclusive report from the German news agency.
The German parliament must debate this controversial issue in the fourth-feira manhã. Deciding to send them would be a landmark moment in the West’s support of kyiv, after days of intense pressure on Berlin from some of his NATO partners.
A CNN I sought the German government to comment on the matter, but I did not receive a response until the last update of this matter.
This is happening after authorities in the United States will reveal that the Joe Biden government is finalizing the plans to send US-made tanks to Ukraine.
Germany had indicated to the US last week that it would not send its Leopard tanks, unless the US also agreed to send its own M1 Abrams tanks.
The German dispatch would supply the kyiv forces with a modern and powerful military vehicle ahead of a potential Russian offensive in the spring.
This would also be a blow to the Kremlin, which has seen an escalating campaign to equip Ukrainian troops with high-tech combat systems as Russia’s land war approaches the one-year mark.
Germany resisted increasing Western pressure to send some two tanks to Ukraine, with the country’s new defense minister, Boris Pistorius, repeatedly asking for more time and insisting that the move would be pros and cons for Berlim.
Poland upped the ante at this third fair, when it formally asked for permission to send its own Leopards, a move Berlim had previously said it would not block.
Several European countries also possess some Leopards, and Poland led an effort to re-export them to Ukraine, even though Germany did not participate in the action.
But the decision by Scholz and Pistorius was considered crucial, because the tanks are German-made, and Germany generally controls their export and re-export.
A Polish authority spoke to CNN As far as they know, Berlim has not yet formally notified Warsaw of the decision to allow the Leopards to be sent to Ukraine.
The German army has 320 Leopard tanks in its possession, but does not reveal how many would be ready for battle, said a spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense CNN.
Several high-tech combat systems have been promised to Ukraine since the turn of the year, amid a new wave of Western military aid.
The US finalized a huge military aid package for the European country totaling approximately US$2.5 billion in weapons last week, including Stryker combat vehicles for the first time. Whereas the United Kingdom and several EU countries agree to send tanks.
Pistorius, who became Minister of Defense of Germany at the fifth fair, saw his first days not in charge dominated by the efforts of important allies to adhere to this trend and send Leopards to Ukraine.
Germany, in turn, sought guarantees that the United States would also send its own vehicles.
But to the frustration of some leaders, I saw the tone after the leadership of Berlim ended, on the past sixth fair, without an agreement for the office, with the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki accusing Germany of “wasting time” by not calling on a decision
Importance not conflict
The Leopard 2 tank would be a powerful combat vehicle for the battlefields of Ukraine.
Each tank contains a 120 mm Smoothbore cannon and a 7.62 mm machine gun, being able to reach speeds of 70 km per hour or 50 km/h outside the road, making maneuverability one of its main characteristics.
It also has protection against threats, including improvised explosive devices, mines or anti-tank fire, according to the German manufacturer Krauss-Maffei Wegmann.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly called on countries to stop brigading on or send two tanks.
“We talked hundreds of times about the shortage of weapons. We cannot go just for reasons of motivation”, he told him during a virtual appearance at the meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos last week.
In an apparent coup in the German era, Zelensky added: “There are moments in which there is no need to hesitate. When the people say – I will give you tanks if someone is a fisher”.
Russia, meanwhile, tried to threaten Germany while its government was deliberate. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, questioned during a regular press conference about Moscow’s reaction if Berlin approves or sending tanks, stressed that relations between the two countries “are already at a fairly low point.”
I still agree with the Russian, currently “there is no substantive dialogue with Germany or with other countries of the EU and NATO”.
“Of course, these deliveries are not a good press for the future of relationships. They will leave an imminent trail,” warned Peskov.
Previous military aid, such as the American HIMARS firearm system, was vital for Ukraine to carry out a series of counter-offensives that have taken place in recent months.
*Fred Pleitgen, Inke Kappeler, Jennifer Hansler, Nadine Schmidt, Niamh Kennedy, Paula Newton, Antonia Mortensen and Radina Gigova, from CNNcontribute to this report
Source: CNN Espanol