Wednesday, January 25, 2023
London – AA
British writer Kate Connolly confirmed that Germany has abandoned its previous position refusing to send advanced “Leopard” tanks to Ukraine and intends to send this type of weapon to Kiev to enhance its combat capabilities in the face of Russian forces.
The writer added, in an article published in the British newspaper “The Guardian”, that Berlin took this decision as a result of the great pressure it was subjected to by international partners, as it is likely that this decision will be announced later today, Wednesday, as part of the efforts made by Western countries to enable the Ukrainian forces to repel Russian attacks.
The author explains that Germany will supply Ukraine with these tanks in cooperation with other partners such as Finland, Sweden and Poland who own the same type of tanks, noting that Berlin will allow those countries to re-export those German-made tanks to Ukraine.
She adds that German Chancellor Olaf Schultz is expected to officially announce this decision today, and that he will attend tomorrow, Thursday, a session in the German Parliament (Bundestag), which is expected to be dominated by the issue of sending Leopard tanks to Ukraine.
The author deals with the Ukrainian reaction in the wake of reports of the German decision, highlighting the statements of the Director of the Ukrainian Presidential Administration Andrei Yarmak, who praised the decision, stressing that it would represent a big slap in the face of Russia.
The author expresses her belief that the German decision represents a major turning point on the part of Berlin, ending the long months of painstaking talks in order to allow the provision of that type of weapon to Ukraine, as this step on Germany’s part means that it will be the first time since World War II that the In which German-made tanks are used in a European battlefield.
It says that it has not yet been decided when these tanks will be sent to Ukraine, but the body responsible for manufacturing the “Leopard” tanks indicated that it is likely that the delivery process will begin next March.
In this context, the author sheds light on the statements of German Defense Minister Boris Pistoris on Tuesday, following his meeting in Berlin with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, in which he affirmed his encouragement to allied countries that possess this type of tank to train Ukrainian soldiers to use it and how to deal with it. .
The writer believes that the new German position comes in the wake of intensive talks at the highest level between Berlin and Washington, which continued over the past few days, and which she believes are closely related to Washington’s decision to send, in turn, “Abrams” tanks to Kiev.
At the end of the article, the author points out that this decision on the part of Berlin comes after many months of Ukraine’s appeal to Western countries to provide such weapons, after Kyiv made pledges that it would use them for defensive purposes only.