Germany now wants to deliver Leopard 2 main battle tanks and also approve the delivery to countries like Poland. US media had previously reported that the United States was considering the delivery of Abrams tanks. All current news in the ticker.
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6:32 p.m .: The federal government has decided to deliver Leopard main battle tanks to Ukraine. The German press agency learned this on Tuesday in Berlin from coalition circles. According to the “Spiegel” it is about at least one company Leopard 2A6. In addition, the government wants to allow delivery from other countries, such as Poland. Also, several Scandinavian countries would now supply tanks. According to the “Spiegel”, the German tanks should come from Bundeswehr stocks. Other tanks could be prepared from industry stocks in the medium to long term.
5:18 p.m .: According to a media report, Germany wants Poland to approve the delivery of Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine on Wednesday. This is reported by the US medium “Bloomberg” based on people familiar with the matter. “Berlin wants to make a decision on this issue quickly in order to settle the growing frustration among the allies,” it said. “n-tv” previously reported, based on government circles, that it could take one to two weeks for the application to be decided.
The Union faction in the Bundestag has demanded that the federal government approve the Polish application as quickly as possible. It is assumed that Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) on Wednesday in the current hour in the Bundestag “will also make a corresponding statement so that the reputational damage that we have had in Germany for a long time does not get any worse,” said parliamentary group leader Friedrich Merz (CDU) on Tuesday before a meeting of the CDU and CSU MPs in Berlin.
For months, Ukraine has been asking for the delivery of main battle tanks to defend itself against the Russian attackers. Germany has been hesitant about this so far and has kept a low profile both on the question of its own deliveries and on the approval of deliveries of the Leopard-type main battle tank made in Germany from other countries. Poland on Tuesday asked Germany to authorize delivery of 14 of the German-made tanks to Kyiv.
4:33 p.m .: According to a media report, the US government is now considering the delivery of Abrams main battle tanks to Ukraine. An announcement about the commitment of “a larger number” of the American M1 Abrams to ward off the Russian war of aggression could come this week, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed sources. According to this, US President Joe Biden is said to have promised German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) in a telephone call last week to have such a delivery checked.
Recently there had been reports that Scholz had made the delivery of the US battle tank a condition for a possible dispatch of German battle tanks. However, according to his US colleague Lloyd Austin, the new Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) had made it clear that there was no such connection. Despite considerable pressure from Ukraine and partner countries, the German government has not yet made a decision on the delivery of Leopard main battle tanks to Kyiv.
The USA had previously emphasized that it did not consider the provision of the Abrams tank to be sensible for practical reasons. According to the Pentagon, the US tanks would have to be transported across the Atlantic, maintenance would be more complex and they would consume too much fuel. The tanks also swallow the aviation fuel kerosene, unlike the Leopard and many companions of the Ukrainian diesel. “It just doesn’t make sense to give the Ukrainians this tool right now,” Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said a few days ago.
2:05 p.m .: After the Polish government asked Germany for approval to supply Leopard tanks to Ukraine, it may take up to two weeks before a decision is made on the application. This is reported by “ntv”, citing government circles.
“One week, two at most”, it will therefore take until the application is decided. The application will be treated “with the necessary urgency”.
10:52 a.m .: Poland has asked the federal government for approval for the delivery of Leopard main battle tanks made in Germany to Ukraine. “I also appeal to the German side to join the coalition of countries supporting Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks,” Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. It’s about the security of all of Europe. According to dpa information, the Polish application from the federal government was already available on Tuesday.
According to the “afp” news agency, Germany has already promised that allies could start training the Ukrainians on battle tanks. This suggests that Germany will approve the deliveries.
9.36 a.m .: Defense Minister Boris Pistorius opens the press conference with a little delay. First he welcomes NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Then he starts to speak. “Eleven months ago today, Putin opened the war in Ukraine. One thing still applies today: NATO must not become a party to the war. But we will do everything we can to help Ukraine, we have and will continue to do so.” He then once again praised the large scale of German aid to Ukraine and highlighted the spring package.
Then he talks about the topic the world is talking about: Leopard tanks. “Since the questions will come anyway: There is no new status yet. But it will come soon.” So Germany’s decision on the Leopard tank is imminent. But he encouraged the partner countries to train Ukrainian soldiers on the tanks, says Pistorius. “But we can only do that once our decision has been made.” However, Germany is by no means isolated, there are simply “other decision-making processes in other nations. “We are not at odds.”
Tuesday, January 24, 8:47 a.m.: According to Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, the availability of Leopard 2 main battle tanks will be checked shortly. The SPD politician said on Tuesday in the ZDF “Morgenmagazin”. This is the prerequisite for “that if a yes comes, which may be the case in the next few days, that we are then also able to act quickly, can train and the associations can then move accordingly”. Pistorius emphasized again that the decision on deliveries was made in the Chancellery. He pointed out that Germany as a “leopard nation” had a special responsibility and role. Pistorius wanted to meet NATO Secretary General Jens in the morning Stoltenberg get together.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has been under international criticism for weeks because of his reluctance to deliver main battle tanks to Ukraine, and there was also resentment in his own coalition. The government justifies its action by weighing the risks of escalation and the need for international coordination. Ukraine has been asking for battle tank deliveries for months to resist the Russian attack.
Several EU countries had criticized the federal government on Monday at the meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels, in some cases very clearly. Poland announced that it would ask Germany for approval for the delivery of Leopard-type main battle tanks made in Germany to Ukraine – but made it clear that if necessary it would also want to deliver Leopard 2 tanks in a small coalition without permission.
10.16 a.m .: Poland wants to ask the German government to send the Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine. This was announced by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. So it’s having an effect that Poland and my “Leopard” coalition are trying, even if Germany doesn’t join the Leopard-supplying countries. Explanation: As the country where the tanks are manufactured, Germany must give its approval for export to third countries.
Monday, January 23, 8:50 a.m.: Jürgen Trittin (Greens), a member of the German Bundestag’s Foreign Affairs Committee, assumes that Ukraine can expect deliveries of Leopard tanks from Western allies. “I fear that there is an escalation in Ukraine and that they need tanks for that, that is undeniable. I’m also sure that they will get these tanks,” Trittin said on the RTL/ntv program “Frühstart”. However, Trittin agreed that the exact scope of the deliveries and who they would come from would have to be decided in the “joint convoy of NATO”. With regard to the delivery of Leopard tanks from third countries, e.g. Poland, Trittin added: “You will get Leopards if Poland can bring itself to submit an application to Germany.”
9:21 p.m .: According to Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, Germany would not oppose the delivery of Leopard main battle tanks from other countries to Ukraine. “We have not been asked so far and (…) if we were asked, we would not stand in the way of that,” said the Green politician on Sunday evening to the French broadcaster LCI. Baerbock answered the question of what would happen if Poland delivered Leopard tanks to Ukraine. In order to supply German tanks to other countries, Germany actually has to approve it.
Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki had announced that he would, if necessary, deliver Leopard tanks to Ukraine without Germany’s consent. He told the PAP news agency on Sunday: “We will not stand by and watch Ukraine bleed dry. Ukraine and Europe will win this war – with or without Germany.” If there is no early agreement with Germany, Poland will form a “smaller coalition” with other countries. These countries would then begin supplying some of their Leopard tanks to Ukraine without German approval.
Even after the Franco-German summit in Paris on Sunday, Chancellor Olaf Scholz still did not indicate when he would make his decision on the delivery of German main battle tanks to Ukraine and what he would make it dependent on. French President Emmanuel Macron did not rule out the delivery of Leclerc main battle tanks, but did not want to commit himself either.
8:05 p.m .: US politicians from Democrats and Republicans are pushing for the delivery of Abrams main battle tanks to Ukraine in order to persuade Germany to act on the Leopard 2 issue. A single Abrams main battle tank would be enough to put the federal government under pressure, Republican Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, hinted on ABC television. According to him, the announcement of such a delivery would already be enough.
Democratic Senator Chris Coons was also open to Abrams deliveries to the US broadcaster, should they be necessary for sending Leopard tanks from Germany or Poland.
7:02 p.m .: French President Emmanuel Macron does not rule out the delivery of French Leclerc battle tanks to Ukraine. “As far as Leclerc is concerned, nothing is out of the question,” Macron said at a joint press conference with Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Paris on Sunday. However, providing these battle tanks must not escalate the conflict, must not weaken the country’s own defense capability and must represent realistic and efficient support for Ukraine.
The deadline for training the Ukrainian crews and delivering the tanks must be taken into account, Macron said. The question will be discussed with allies such as Germany in the coming days and weeks.
6:59 p.m .: The Greens chairman Omid Nouripour urges the federal government to position itself quickly on tank delivery requests from other states to Ukraine. If there is a request for a delivery permit from states in the European Union, “then they deserve a quick answer,” said Nouripour on Sunday evening in the ARD “Report from Berlin”. At the same time, he stressed the importance of international coordination on the issue of arms deliveries.
6:15 p.m .: Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki has announced that he will, if necessary, deliver Leopard tanks to Ukraine without Germany’s consent. He told the PAP news agency on Sunday: “We will not stand by and watch Ukraine bleed dry. Ukraine and Europe will win this war – with or without Germany.” If there is no early agreement with Germany, Poland will form a “smaller coalition” with other countries. These countries would then begin supplying some of their Leopard tanks to Ukraine without German approval.
Morawiecki published a similar statement in English on Twitter.
Sunday, January 22, 11:25 a.m .: The continued hesitation of Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) in the delivery of Leopard tanks to Ukraine has been harshly criticized internationally. Scholz’s decision should now also weigh heavily on the relationship with the United States. As the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” reports, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin got into a heated argument with Chancellor Wolfgang Schmidt on the fringes of the Ramstein Conference. The encounter was “tense,” according to an internal report from American government circles.
Austin was already on his way to Germany when he received the news that Scholz was publicly making his deliveries to Ukraine dependent on the United States. According to media reports, Scholz said in a phone call with US President Biden that he would only supply Leopard 2 tanks if the US were to send Abrams-type main battle tanks. According to the “SZ”, US security adviser Jake Sullivan called Scholz’s foreign policy adviser, Jens Plötner, and protested violently and harshly. The US government has rejected such a connection between the deliveries since October, since laying and operating the Abrams tanks would take too long.
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