Netherlands prepared to cover cost of transferring Leopard tanks to Ukraine

20 January, 12:32 AM
Tank Leopard 2 (Photo:US Army photo by Spc. Javon Spence)

Tank Leopard 2 (Photo:US Army photo by Spc. Javon Spence)

The Netherlands is ready to pay for the delivery of Leopard tanks to Ukraine as part of a wider coalition effort to equip Kyiv’s armed forces with modern heavy weapons, Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren said on Jan. 19, as reported by Bloomberg.

“That is definitely something we would be willing to do,” Ollongren said in Davos, Switzerland, where she is attending the annual World Economic Forum meeting

According to the minister, the Netherlands had previously paid for Soviet T-72 tanks to be sent to Kyiv from the Czech Republic, and is ready to do the same with German-made Leopard tanks.

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Ollongren noted that Poland and Finland have announced their willingness to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine, but that would still require a permission from Berlin.

“We are all waiting to hear what the German position is on this, but I’m an advocate of trying to find a solution and trying to send tanks to Ukraine,” the minister concluded.

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö has also indicated his country’s willingness to supply a small number of Leopard-2 tanks to Ukraine.

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, UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace confirmed that London will transfer 14 Challenger-2 tanks to Kyiv.

On Jan. 18, German media reported Scholz told U.S. President Joe Biden that Berlin will greenlight shipments of Leopard tanks to Ukraine after Washington sends its own Abrams main battle tanks.

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