Berlin, 25 January 2023 (TDI): German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has agreed to supply 14 Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine. Germany will send its modern Leopard main tanks to Ukraine.

This tranche will be a part of a coordinated push with the United States (US) and Britain to escalate their support for Kyiv ahead of an expected Russian offensive in spring.

The announcement follows after the days of intense diplomacy between Berlin and Washington and London. The US is also expected to announce a donation of up to 50 US-made Abram M1 tanks to Ukraine after Germany.

In addition to pledging German tanks, Berlin said other countries would provide German-made tanks out of their own stocks as a part of a broad coalition to boost Kyiv’s armed forces.

Germany’s initial delivery will come for the German military’s stocks. Furthermore, the training of the Ukrainian tank crews would begin shortly in Germany.

Also read: Germany, Lithuania enhance military cooperation under NATO

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said, “The decision hews to our known line, which is to support Ukraine to the best of our ability. We are acting in close international coordination”.

The coordinated moves mark a new threshold in the West’s assistance to Ukraine. While Kyiv’s supporters had long provided the country with soviet era weapons in their own stocks, they had so far rejected Kyiv’s repeated demands for modern western made weapons.

Russia warns West

The Russian Ambassador to the US has said, supplying tanks to Ukraine would not change matters and that the West would regret its “delusion” that Kyiv could win on the battlefield against Russia.

Furthermore, he said to the US that the possible delivery of Abrams tanks to Ukraine by Washington would be another “blatant provocation against Moscow”. He also added that “it’s obvious that Washington is purposefully trying to inflict strategic defeat on us”.

On the other hand, German Chancellor had held out for months against a growing chorus of people mounting pressure on him to send Kyiv the tanks.

The pressures were mounted not only from the Ukrainian President but also from NATO allies and members of Scholz’s coalition government.

It’s also to be noted that the main battle tank Leopard 2 possesses is that it is a heavier and faster tank than many of the tanks the Russian army has in Ukraine.

So far Germany is one the biggest military donors to Ukraine, but there is skepticism about the value of sending tanks among a broad area of the German public who worry it could draw Germany more deeply into an escalating war in Eastern Europe.