Austria refuses to train Ukrainian soldiers on Leopard 2 tanks

13 February, 03:55 PM
Leopard 2 tanks (Photo:REUTERS/Ints Kalnins)

Leopard 2 tanks (Photo:REUTERS/Ints Kalnins)

Austria does not want to train the Ukrainian military to use Leopard 2 battle tanks, the country's Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner confirmed in a written statement to Ö1 Morgejournal, Austrian news outlet Kurier reported on Feb. 3.

"It was a sovereign decision of each state to support Ukraine within the framework of its laws," the explanation reads.

Meanwhile, foreign soldiers are already training on Austrian Leopard 2 tanks, in particular, those from NATO states — Hungary and the Czech Republic.

Austria has a single tank battalion based in Wels, in north-central Austria. It has 48 Leopard 2 battle tanks.

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Germany, after much hesitation, on Jan. 25 approved the transfer of 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and their re-export from partner countries. The same day, the United States announced that it would send 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine.

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said that the first tanks could be sent to Ukraine by the end of March.

Ukraine urgently requested main battle tanks from its allies from the first weeks of Russia’s full-scale invasion and war, but it was only in late 2022 that momentum towards supplying the armor began to grow.

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