German Defense Minister rules out additional Leopard tanks to Ukraine
Germany holds back on additional Leopard tanks to Ukraine because it "cannot give everything away."
German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said on Saturday that his country was not going to send additional Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. "I currently do not see [the possibility of] deliveries of additional Leopard tanks beyond those announced," Pistorius told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper.
Like other countries, Germany has a "limited supply" of weapons, the defense minister said, noting that he "cannot give everything away."
"Now, together with the Poles and other allies, we are supplying two battalions of Leopard 2, a little over 60 battle tanks. Up to four more battalions of Leopard 1 tanks will be added until next year. This is over 100 tanks. Our American and British allies will also hand over tanks," Pistorius said.
He noted that NATO countries do not have spare battle tanks awaiting shipment and that it is possible to cover Ukraine's needs in the mid-term.
Germany delivered to Ukraine on Monday 18 Leopard 2 Tanks and some 40 Marder armored infantry fighting vehicles.
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Negotiations between the Ukrainian government and its allies started in February, discussing the supplies of longer-range missiles and jets, as well as additional ammunition in the face of Russia.
Moreover, the Kremlin has made several warnings against arms supplies to Kiev and further escalation that could trigger the direct involvement of the United States and NATO in the conflict.
Earlier this week, as per Berlin's promise to supply Kiev with military support, Germany's Spiegel reported that Ukraine received 18 German Leopard 2 tanks.
German authorities did not disclose the delivery route for the transport of military weapons and equipment due to security concerns.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky revealed on March 25 that Kiev is currently unable to launch a counteroffensive, blaming the situation on a weapons shortage.