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The United States is pressuring Germany to supply Ukraine with Leopard II battle tanks

Posted by on 2023/01/20. Filed under Breaking News,Headline News,International. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

U.S. Defense Secretary Austin will use a meeting Thursday at the U.S. military’s Ramstein Air base in Germany to press new German Defense Minister Oscar Pistorius on a disagreement with Germany over whether to approve the supply of Leopard II battle tanks to Ukraine.

Germany will approve the shipment of German-made tanks to Ukraine if the United States agrees to approve the shipment of M1 Abrams main battle tanks there, Reuters reported, citing sources close to the German government.
But senior US officials stressed that Washington had no immediate plans to supply Ukraine with heavy tanks, citing the maintenance and logistical difficulties Kiev would face.

A senior U.S. defense official said Austin would press the German side that, in the U.S. view, supplying Ukraine with German-made Leopard II tanks is the most logical solution, because European countries that own the tanks have agreed to transfer them to Ukraine as soon as possible.

The United States has provided Ukraine with $24 billion in military aid since the Russian invasion, and the Biden administration could soon approve $2 billion in new aid to Ukraine, to be announced Friday at a meeting of alliance defense ministers at a U.S. military airbase in Germany. The programme will most likely include the Stryker vehicle, the US army’s new eight-wheeled armoured vehicle designed for the 21st century battlefield, but not the M1 Abrams main battle tank.

Germany itself has only about 200 advanced Leopard II main battle tanks, but Germany has sold more than 1,000 modified tanks to European countries. Countries including Spain, Finland and Poland have said they will send Leopard II tanks to Ukraine as soon as Germany allows them.

Ukraine on Thursday again urged its Western Allies to speed up the supply of tanks and air defense systems to avoid the cost of more Ukrainian lives.

On Wednesday, three European countries said they would send more missiles and artillery to Ukraine. Britain, which had already announced plans to supply heavy tanks to Ukraine, said Thursday it would send 600 more Brimstone precision-guided missiles. Denmark said it would send all 19 Caesars it had ordered from France to Ukraine, while Sweden said it would send Archers self-propelled guns to Ukraine.
Eu Council President Charles Michel, who visited Kiev on Thursday for talks with President Zelensky, stressed: “Tanks must be supplied to Ukraine!”

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