Baltic countries call on Germany to deliver Leopard tanks to Ukraine as soon as possible

21 January, 05:02 PM
The Baltic countries called on Germany to hand over Leopard tanks to Ukraine as soon as possible (Photo:REUTERS / Radovan Stoklasa)

The Baltic countries called on Germany to hand over Leopard tanks to Ukraine as soon as possible (Photo:REUTERS / Radovan Stoklasa)

The Foreign Ministers of the Baltic states – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania — have urged Berlin to speed up the delivery of German-made tanks to Ukraine, according to a joint statement posted on Twitter by Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs on behalf of all three countries on Jan. 21.

"We, the foreign ministers of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, call on Germany to provide Leopard tanks to Ukraine now," the official wrote.

The statement says that "this is needed to stop Russian aggression, help Ukraine and restore peace in Europe quickly."

"Germany, as the leading European power, has [a] special responsibility in this regard," the ministers stressed.

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In recent weeks, some of Kyiv’s allies have expressed their willingness to provide Ukraine with German-made Leopard tanks, but are awaiting Germany's approval of this decision. On the sidelines of the Ramstein summit, ministers from 15 countries discussed the transfer of this equipment to Ukraine.

However, Berlin has not yet made a decision on this matter. Some media reported that Germany does not want to make this decision without the United States.

In particular, German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that Chancellor Olaf Scholz, during his meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden on Jan. 18, made it clear to him that he would approve the transfer of Leopards to Ukraine if Washington supplied Kyiv with American Abrams tanks. However, later the German defense minister clarified that this condition was not mandatory.

A final decision on the supply of Leopard tanks to Ukraine was not reached during a “Ramstein format” summit on Jan. 20.

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