No agreement on Leopard tanks supply to Ukraine reached at Ramstein

20 January, 09:56 PM
German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (Photo:REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay)

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (Photo:REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay)

Defense ministers meeting at Ramstein failed to approve the shipment of Leopard 2 tanks shipment to Ukraine, German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported on Jan. 20, citing Germany's Defense Minister Boris Pistorius.

Pistorius said Western defense ministers didn't manage to come to a shared view of transferring German-made tanks to the Ukrainian army.

"All pros and cons must be weighed very carefully," Pistorius said, adding that there is no sign of a final decision on the matter.

The minister refused to answer the question about Berlin giving approval to Poland and other countries for Leopard tank re-exports to Ukraine.

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Poland's Minister of National Defence Mariusz Błaszczak confirmed that the decision about tank transfer hadn’t been made, Sky News reported.

However, he said he was sure an international coalition on Leopard tanks to Ukraine will be created soon.

How many tanks Ukraine needs?

General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, has previously said Ukraine needs 300 tanks. Ukraine's Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov clarified this amount is needed for "a particular operation."

Meanwhile, the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies has estimated that Ukraine needs about 100 tanks to launch a counter-offensive.

German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung reported earlier, referring to own sources, that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz made it clear to the White House's leader Joe Biden during their meeting on Jan. 18 that he would approve the supply of Leopard tanks to Ukraine only if the U.S. pledged its Abrams tanks.

In contrast to German uncertainty, 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.

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