European Parliament urges Germany to provide Ukraine with Leopard tanks ‘without delay’

19 January, 12:14 AM
Olaf Scholz (Photo:REUTERS/Michele Tantussi)

Olaf Scholz (Photo:REUTERS/Michele Tantussi)

EU’s legislative body, the European Parliament, has called on German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to allow the transfer of German-made Leopard-2 main battle tanks to Ukraine, the parliament’s press office said in a statement on Jan. 18.

The appeal to Berlin was included in the parliament’s annual EU defense policy review, which was adopted with 459 to 93 votes, while 85 MEPs abstained.

MEPs have called to “immediately deploy” next-generation air defense systems, and urged Scholz “to deliver Leopard-2 main battle tanks to Ukraine without further delay.”

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“Ukraine is defending its territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders and urgently needs military aid and heavy weaponry to win the war,” the document reads.

On Jan. 20, defense ministers of pro-Ukraine international coalition will discuss Kyiv’s armament needs at the eight “Ramstein” meeting – named after the U.S. Ramstein Air Force base in Germany, where the first such gathering took place in 2022.

The United States is preparing another package of security assistance to Ukraine, which will include Stryker armored vehicles and GLSDB rockets – but no Abrams tanks, Politico reported on Jan. 18, citing U.S. officials.

On Jan. 17, Reuters reported that at Davos, Germany's partners increased pressure on Chancellor Olaf Scholz to allow the transfer of Leopard tanks to Ukraine. Earlier, Polish President Andrzej Duda was the first to announce the transfer of 14 Leopard tanks to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

On Jan. 16, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace confirmed that the UK would transfer 14 Challenger-2 tanks to Ukraine.

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