Germany reluctant to ‘unilaterally’ transfer modern tanks to Ukraine

2 January, 10:17 PM
German Leopard tanks (Photo:Mariusz Burcz / Alamy via Reuters)

German Leopard tanks (Photo:Mariusz Burcz / Alamy via Reuters)

Berlin has no plans to make a unilateral decision to transfer Leopard-2 main battle tanks to Ukraine without coordinating with its NATO allies, German SPD MP Michael Müller told Der Spiegel on Jan. 2.

According to Müller, the transfer of tanks “will remain within the (government’s) foreign policy line so that there are no ill-conceived solo efforts.”

“Such weapons can only be provided in coordination with our NATO partners,” said Müller. 

He added that while the United States and France also have modern tanks similar to German-made Leopard, those countries yet to make them available to Kyiv.

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“Germany wants to further avoid the (NATO) alliance becoming a party to the (Russia-Ukraine) war,” the MP said.

He stressed that Germany will continue supporting Ukraine with other kinds of modern weapons and will do so for as long as necessary.

On Dec. 11, Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Oleksii Makeiev said that the German government plans to continue supplying weapons for the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Ukraine continues negotiations on adding Leopard tanks and Marder infantry fighting vehicles to the list of supplies it seeks to get from Berlin.

On Dec. 9, Germany said it was in talks with the United States and other partners regarding the supply of Leopard-2 tanks to Ukraine.

Previously, German media reported that Washington made itclear to Berlin it was not against the transfer of heavy tanks to Ukraine. This was later confirmed by the Chair of Bundestag Defense Committee, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann.

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