Germany sends the tanks: Olaf Scholz FINALLY agrees to send crucial Leopard 2 armored vehicles to Ukraine and allow other countries to do so, following international pressure
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has decided to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and allow other countries like Poland to do so, Spiegel magazine reported on Tuesday.
The decision affects at least one company of Leopard 2 A6 tanks, Spiegel said.
Other allies, in Scandinavia for example, intend to join Germany in supplying their Leopard tanks to Kyiv, the magazine reported.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz delivers a speech in front of a Leopard 2 tank during a visit to a German army Bundeswehr military base in Bergen, Germany, October 17, 2022
Ukrainian servicemen search and recover unexploded shells after a fight with a Russian raiding party in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on February 26, 2022
Vladimir Putin meets with Belgorod Region Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow on January 24, 2023
Earlier on Tuesday, Berlin refrained from granting the transfer clearance but stressed that a decision was imminent, prompting a defiant response from the Kremlin.
Poland has also upped the ante by submitting an official request for the delivery of German-made tanks from its stockpiles to Ukraine.
But in Kyiv, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was battling a deepening corruption scandal in his government, sacking several officials for corruption while others resigned.
Ukraine and several of its allies have been urging Germany for weeks to allow the Leopards to be delivered, but a US-led meeting of Kyiv allies in Germany last week failed to reach a decision.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has warned that Moscow shows no signs of changing course in its invasion, noting that Russia has mobilized more than 200,000 troops and is acquiring new weapons from countries like North Korea. or Iran.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the delivery of the tanks “would not do any good for future relations” between Berlin and Moscow.
Under German arms control rules, countries using German-made weaponry are required to seek permission from Berlin if they wish to transfer it to a third party.
Poland, one of the loudest voices calling for permission to send Leopard tanks, said earlier this month it was ready to deliver 14 to Kyiv as part of an international coalition of country.
As Ukraine marked 11 months since the start of the war on Tuesday, Zelensky urged his troops to continue the fight against Russia.
But the comments came as Zelensky wrestled with a growing corruption scandal as his Ministry of Defense was reeling from accusations of food supply fraud.
Local media last week accused the ministry of signing a deal at prices “two to three times higher” than current staple food prices.
Several officials resigned on Tuesday over the allegations, including a deputy defense minister, two deputy ministers of community and land development and a deputy minister of social policy.
Ukraine has a history of endemic corruption, including among the political elite, but efforts to root out corruption have been overshadowed by war.
Kyiv’s Western allies, who have allocated billions of dollars in financial and military support, have been pushing for years for anti-corruption reforms, sometimes as a precondition for aid.
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