After much hesitation, the decision was made: Germany will deliver 14 Leopard main battle tanks to the Ukraine and allow other countries to do the same. Chancellor Olaf Scholz wants to make a government statement in the Bundestag from 1 p.m. FOCUS online reports in the live ticker.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) faces the members of the Bundestag in a government survey on Wednesday (1 p.m.). The central issue is likely to be the delivery of battle tanks to Ukraine, which will also be discussed in a current hour (3 p.m.) at the request of the Union faction.
After weeks of back and forth, the federal government had decided to deliver Leopard tanks to Ukraine, as the German Press Agency learned from coalition circles on Tuesday evening. It was announced on Wednesday that there will initially be 14 Leopard main battle tanks. In addition, other countries are allowed to hand over such tanks to Kyiv.
The Leopard delivery is “good for Ukraine on the one hand, bad for the operational readiness of the Bundeswehr on the other hand,” says the chairman of the Bundeswehr Association, André Wüstner in the “ZDF morning magazine”. The operational readiness of the Bundeswehr would be further weakened by the Leopard delivery, so the thesis of the military expert.
His demand: “If we not only want to support Ukraine, but also want to be able to defend ourselves again,” politicians must strengthen industry so that the necessary equipment is available in the coming years. “In the last few months it has been said that we are only partially ready to defend ourselves – if at all. The truth is: Since February we have continued to give away weapon devices and ammunition. We’re still in free fall, we still haven’t turned around in terms of our own ability to defend ourselves,” Wüstner continued.
For months Ukraine has been demanding western-style main battle tanks to fight the Russian attackers. The first official request to the federal government came just a week after the start of the war at the beginning of March last year.
The front line in eastern Ukraine has hardly moved in weeks. With the battle tanks, Ukraine is now hoping to get back on the offensive and recapture more territory. At the same time, an offensive by Russia is feared for the spring.
Also read: Analysis by Herfried Münkler – Germany’s Leo embarrassment will have an impact – also in Russia
and: The Ukraine update in the morning – No sooner has the battle tank delivery been confirmed than Ukraine makes the next big demand