The decision has been made: Germany agrees to send Leopards to Kiev
The Der Spiegel report reveals that Germany will send Leopards from the stocks of its own army and will allow other countries to do so.
Berlin has agreed to send at least a company of Leopard 2A6 battle tanks to Ukraine, German news outlet Der Spiegel reported on Tuesday.
The news site said the tanks will be provided from the German military's [Bundeswehr] stocks.
According to the report, the federal government also allows the export of the German-made tanks to Ukraine owned by other countries, including Poland.
Other states, including some from Scandinavia, intend to follow in Germany's footsteps to provide Kiev with the Leopard 2 battle tanks.
In the medium to long term, more battle tanks from Bundeswehr stocks could be restored to become operational and be sent to Ukraine, the report added.
The United States set to announce plan to send M1 Abrams to Ukraine
In the same context, the United States is likely to announce this week that it will be sending a number of its M1 Abrams main battle tank to Ukraine reported The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday citing US officials.
According to the report, Washington's decision would be part of a broader agreement with Germany, which requires Berlin to send a small number of the Leopard 2 tanks it owns to Ukraine, in addition to providing its approval for third countries to send the German-made main battle tank to Kiev.
Czech Republic not to jump on the bandwagon
Following Berlin's announcement that it will not stand in the way of countries submitting an official request to provide Ukraine from their own supply of Leopard tanks, the prime minister of the Czech Republic, Petr Fiala, stated on Tuesday that his country will not be providing Kiev with the German-made tanks.
The Prime Minister's announcement came following a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Tuesday, as quoted by the DPA news agency.
Berlin promised earlier to send Prague Leopard tanks under the "round exchange" framework, which states that eastern European countries provide Kiev with Soviet-era weapons in exchange for military equipment from Germany.
"Currently, it is impossible to send the Leopards [to Kiev] because we need these tanks to ensure our own security," Fiala said.
Last May, Germany said it will supply the Czech Republic with 15 Leopard 2 A4 tanks and will train Czech troops on operating the battle tank. The first tank was sent to Prague last December.