Finland to transfer three Leopard 2 mine clearing tanks to Ukraine

23 February, 06:55 PM
Flag of Finland (Photo:stanjourdan/flickr)

Flag of Finland (Photo:stanjourdan/flickr)

Finland will hand over three Leopard 2 mine clearing tanks to Ukraine as part of the 13th package of defense materiel worth over EUR 160 million, the country’s Defense Ministry said in a press release on Feb. 23.

The aid package also includes training related to the use and maintenance of these tanks.

“We will send more defense materiel and participate in the Leopard cooperation together with our partners,” said Finnish Minister of Defense Mikko Savola.

According to the agency, for operational reasons and to ensure that the delivery reaches its destination, more detailed information on the content of the assistance, manner of delivery or schedule will not be provided.

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The combined value of all defence materiel packages submitted so far is now EUR 750 million.

Earlier, Savola said that the country would take part in the supply of Leopard tanks to Ukraine, but its contribution would be small.

U.S. newspaper the Wall Street Journal reported on Feb. 9 that Finland does not plan to directly transfer tanks to Ukraine until Ukraine becomes afull NATO member.

Poland’s Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said on Feb. 15 that Poland, Norway, Canada, Spain, and Finland had equipped a battalion of Leopard-2A4 tanks to be sent to Ukraine.

On Feb. 14, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that a group of countries, including Germany, Poland, Canada, Portugal, Spain, Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands, are working on the transfer of Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

On Jan. 25, after long hesitation, Germany approved the transfer of 14 Leopard-2 tanks to Ukraine and their re-export from partner countries. On the same day, the United States announced the delivery of 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine. German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said that the first tanks could be sent to Ukraine by the end of March.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba stated that Ukraine would receive 120-140 modern Western tanks in the first wave.

On Feb. 7, Berlin issued a license to German military companies to supply Ukraine with 178 Leopard-1A5 tanks. Pistorius stated that Ukraine would receive more than 100 Leopard-1A5s from several European countries.

Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Ukraine needs 300-500 tanks for a major counter-offensive to liberate all Ukrainian territory from Russian occupation.

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