Edited By: Shankhyaneel Sarkar
Last Updated: January 25, 2023, 14:55 IST
The German administration informed Ukraine that a decision regarding the delivery of Leopard 2 tanks will be made on Wednesday. Germany has been reluctant regarding the delivery of Leopard 2 tanks because it does not want to escalate the war between Russia and Ukraine which has entered its 11 month.
However, reports by several news media outlets pointed out that the reluctance stemmed because Germany did not want to be seen as the only nation who would be sending these state-of-the-art tanks to Ukraine and wanted the US to also send its own state-of-the-art M1 Abrams tanks to help Ukraine fend off the Russians on the east.
The Guardian in its report said that both nations are likely to announce that they will send Abrams and Leopard-2 tanks to Ukraine in a bid to strengthen Ukraine’s arsenal.
There were also reports from German media outlets like Der Spiegel and news channel NTV that German chancellor Olaf Scholz would give the green light to send tanks to Kyiv.
Russia reacted to the development and said that these were ‘blatant provocations’.
“If the United States decides to supply tanks, it will be impossible to justify such a step using arguments about ‘defensive weapons. This would be another blatant provocation against the Russian Federation,” Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, said and also criticised the US for sending M1 Abrams tanks.
Earlier this week, German defence minister Boris Pistorius said he encouraged partner nations like Poland to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. He also held a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Berlin and said a decision will be made shortly regarding sending of tanks.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky continued to pressurise allies to send tanks for the Ukrainian forces and urged them to end ‘discussions with decisions.’
Germany has asked nations to which it has sold Leopard 2 tanks to train Ukrainian forces on how to use them. Poland has been keen on sending Leopard-2 tanks to Ukraine, as it fears that if the war escalates it could be in trouble as it shares borders with Russia as well as Ukraine.
Germany’s Free Democratic Party, a member of Germany’s ruling political coalition also in a tweet indicated that Leopard-Panzer tanks will be sent to Ukraine.
The Kremlin has warned that if Germany goes ahead with its military aid then it will impact Berlin-Moscow ties and leave a ‘lasting mark’.
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