German cabinet confirms 14 Leopard 2 tanks to be delivered to Ukraine
Chancellor Olaf Scholz announces that 14 Leopard 2 tanks will be delivered to Ukraine alongside a new supplies package.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz vowed to deliver 14 Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine, government spokesperson Steffen Hebestreit told reporters on Wednesday.
Hebestreit explained that "On Wednesday, Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced in the cabinet that Germany would further increase its military support for Ukraine," adding that "the federal government had decided to provide the Ukrainian armed forces with Leopard 2 main battle tanks."
According to the spokesperson, the objective, now, is to " quickly raise two tank battalions with Leopard 2 tanks for Ukraine." This will happen over two stages. First, "Germany will provide a company of 14 Leopard 2 A6 tanks from the stocks of the Bundeswehr."
Then, Germany's European partners will deliver Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine while Germany will offer a new package for the anti-Russia war. The package will include ammunition, system maintenance, and assistance in logistics, Hebestreit stated
German's decision to send the Leapord tanks to Ukraine stems from talks with the country's European and International partners, given that significant consequences will follow such a decision.
In turn, the Russian Embassy in Germany cautioned that “this extremely dangerous decision shifts the Ukrainian conflict to a new level of standoff,” adding that “Berlin’s choice to supply tanks to Kiev means the final rejection of Germany’s historical responsibility to the Russian people.”
A full-fledged war on Russia?
Earlier in the morning, and following reports on the supply of Abrams tanks to Ukraine by Washington, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said on Tuesday that the delivery will become another "blatant provocation" against Russia and warned that the Russian military would destroy the equipment.
Earlier on Tuesday, US media reported that US President Joe Biden is set to announce the delivery of 30-50 Abrams tanks to Ukraine as soon as Wednesday.
According to Antonov, a decision to transfer to Kiev M1 Abrams is made, and American tanks "without any doubt" will be destroyed along with "all other samples of NATO military equipment."
"If the United States decides to supply tanks, it will be impossible to justify such step using arguments about 'defensive weapons.' This would be another blatant provocation against the Russian Federation. No one should have illusions about who is the real aggressor in the current conflict," he said in a statement.
The ambassador added that the US is trying to inflict strategic defeat on Russia and "gives 'green light' to use of American assistance for attacks on the Crimea."
This reaffirmed Russia's argument, according to the ambassador, that Ukraine and the West want neither peace nor diplomacy.