Czechia denies reports of intent to supply Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine

21 January, 02:14 PM
Leopard 2 tank (Photo:Bundeswehr-Fotos/Wikipedia)

Leopard 2 tank (Photo:Bundeswehr-Fotos/Wikipedia)

The Czech government has denied reports of its alleged intention to supply Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks, the Czech Ministry of Defense said in a statement on Jan. 20.

"Foreign media reported that ‘Czech and Slovakia are ready to opt out of Leopard 2 tanks in favor of Ukraine,’” the Ministry wrote.

“This information isn't true. No one has asked or offered Czechia to transfer these tanks.”

The MoD also claimed the issue wasn't discussed during the most recent Ramstein meeting on Jan. 20, at which the question of further military support of Ukraine was raised.

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"Speculation that the Czech Republic will receive American Abrams tanks instead of Leopard tanks is likewise untrue," the ministry added.

Earlier, the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung wrote, referring to diplomatic sources, that Czechia and Slovakia are supportive of supplying German-made Leopard tanks to Ukraine and are willing to send some of the vehicles received as a part of so-called "chain swap" to Kyiv.

Polish President Andrzej Duda announced during his visit to Lviv on Jan. 11 that the Ukrainian army would receive a company of Leopard tanks supplied by an international coalition.

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö has also confirmed his country’s willingness to supply a small number of these tanks to Ukraine.

Ukraine's Foreign Affairs Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said Ukraine plans to form a Leopard tank brigade.

Germany still plays a key role in the supply of these tanks, as it has to approve re-export of German-made weapons. Last week, German Vice Chancellor and Minister of Economy Robert Habeck said that Berlin would not interfere if Warsaw decided to transfer combat tanks from its stockpile to Kyiv. Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that Germany would continue to "carefully weigh every step" in supplying the Ukrainian Armed Forces with weapons, but has so far refused to directly supply Ukraine with the modern armored vehicles.

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