Berlin ready to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine once allies reach consensus, says German defense minister

20 January, 08:25 PM
Boris Pistorius (Photo:REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay)

Boris Pistorius (Photo:REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay)

Germany is "ready to move quickly" if allies reach a consensus on the supply of Leopard tanks to Ukraine, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said on Jan. 20, CNN reports.

“As far as the delivery of the Leopard is concerned, there is no unanimous opinion," Pistorius told reporters at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

He denied claims that Germany is “standing in the way of a united coalition" of countries that are in favor of sending tanks to Ukraine.

"There are good reasons for the delivery and there are good reasons against it,” Pistorius added.

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“And given the overall situation of a war that has been going on for almost one year now, all the pros and cons have to be weighed very carefully, and that assessment is explicitly shared by many allies.”

The official said he has instructed officials to review Germany's stockpile of Leopard 2 tanks so that the country can "move quickly" in the event of a "positive decision."

At the same time, the defense minister noted that the issue of export permits was not discussed at Friday's meetings.

On Jan. 20, a meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group (“Ramstein format”) took place in Germany.

Earlier, German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung reported, citing its sources, that German 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 Ukraine with Abrams tanks.

Later, Pistorius clarified that this condition was not mandatory.

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