Leopard delivery does not depend on US Abrams
Berlin, Ramstein, Madrid The federal government has clarified that it does not make the supply of German-made Leopard 2 tanks dependent on the supply of M1 Abrams tanks from the USA. “At no time (…) was there a link or a demand that one thing had to happen so that the other could happen,” said government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit on Friday in Berlin. “Bild” and “Süddeutsche Zeitung” had previously reported that Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) only want to deliver the Leopard tanks if the USA promises their Abrams tanks.
“It’s hard for me to imagine a German chancellor dictating any conditions or making demands on an American president,” Hebestreit said. However, he also confirmed that coordinated action with the USA is important to the federal government. This was also the case with the decisions about the Marder armored personnel carriers or the multiple rocket launchers.
EU foreign policy officer for main battle tank delivery
The EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell is committed to a delivery of battle tanks to the Ukraine a. Ukraine needs the weapons and heavy tanks it asked for,” Borrell told reporters in Madrid. “Some European countries are ready to deliver them and I hope that decision will be made,” he adds.
According to Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares, his country, together with its western partners, will do everything necessary to end Russia’s war against Ukraine. “We are not ruling out any option to bring peace to Ukraine,” he said in an interview with Spanish radio station RAC1, referring to Friday’s Ukraine conference in Ramstein.
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Albares left open whether this also includes his country’s willingness to make Leopard main battle tanks available to Ukraine in a concerted action at this point in time. He did not want to anticipate the Spanish representatives at the meeting of the Ukraine contact group in Ramstein.
Poland and Finland have already announced that they want to deliver Leopard 2 tanks in the European network. Germany has not yet positioned itself on this. Hebestreit said there was still no official request from Poland. On the question of how the federal government would react if Poland were to deliver without a permit, the government spokesman said: “All our partners certainly want to behave in accordance with the law.”
More: German industry offers more than 100 main battle tanks for Ukraine