Tank deliveries will be decided jointly with the US

Boris Pistorius and Lloyd Austin

Shortly after taking office, the new German defense minister met his American counterpart.

(Photo: IMAGO/Christian Spicker)

Berlin The new Federal Defense Minister Boris Pistorius sees the delivery of US Abrams main battle tanks to the Ukraine not as a condition for the possible deployment of German battle tanks. “I don’t know of such a connection,” he said SPD-Politicians on Thursday evening in one ARD– “Focal point” to the question of whether Germany willing to deliver Leopard tanks only if the USA would deliver Abrams main battle tanks.

When asked whether Germany would supply main battle tanks without the US, Pistorius said that was an issue Chancellor Olaf Scholz was discussing with US President Joe Biden. “I’m pretty sure we’ll get a decision on that in the next few days. I can’t tell you today what that will look like.” The fact is, however, that Germany, as in the past few months, voted with the most important Nato-Partner USA trade.

>> Read here: Boris Pistorius has no time to settle in on the first day in office

Regarding the willingness of Great Britain or Poland to supply main battle tanks, Pistorius said it was not the case that the majority of European Nato– States see it the same way. There is no unanimous opinion among the German population either. The Leopard tank is a technically high-quality tank that is also suitable for offensive actions. You have to think carefully about the conditions under which a delivery would be possible.

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Asked whether Germany would give the green light to other countries to export German-made Leopard tanks at the Ramstein conference of western Ukraine supporters on Friday, Pistorius said: “That will become clear in the next few hours or tomorrow morning. “

Also in ZDF– “heute journal” the minister emphasized the concerted approach. “We did very well as the Federal Republic of Germany and as an ally in that the big, important decisions to support Ukraine were always made as a transatlantic alliance,” Pistorius said ZDF. “Alliance commitment also means that an alliance must stand together and make decisions together and perform joint services.”

“Not all questions answered”

“We’re talking about a main battle tank like the Leopard 2, which is one of the best and also one of the most offensively capable there is. And as a result, it should be treated with caution if you just give it out now.” It is clear that he can play an important role. Pistorius also emphasized on ZDF that he was pretty sure that there would be a solution very soon.

>> Read here: German industry offers more than 100 main battle tanks for Ukraine

“Nobody excludes that Leopard tanks can be delivered, or that approval, approval for delivery can be given to other European partners. But not all questions will be answered by then, and that is happening at the moment.”

Pistorius received his US colleague Lloyd Austin on Thursday as the first foreign visitor after taking office. “We got along very well right away,” emphasized Pistorius on ZDF. Both had agreed to exchange information regularly. On Friday, defense ministers and senior military officials from numerous countries will meet at the US Ramstein Air Force Base in Rhineland-Palatinate to discuss continued support for Ukraine in the war against Ukraine Russia.

More: What makes the Leopard 2 a main battle tank

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