Germany will provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 battle tanks for its conflict with Russia

Germany will provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 battle tanks for its conflict with Russia

Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Wednesday that his administration will grant requests from other nations to do the same after weeks of reluctance that saw rising discontent among Germany's friends.

The government said in a statement that it will first provide Ukraine with one company of Leopard 2 A6 tanks from its own reserves, consisting of 14 units. The objective is for Germany and its allies to send 88 tanks, or two battalions, to Ukraine.

Germany was "operating in close cooperation," according to Scholz, with its allies.

Following the announcement by US authorities that a preliminary deal had been reached for the United States to provide M1 Abrams tanks to assist Kyiv fight back Russian soldiers stationed in the east, over a year after the conflict began, the long-awaited decision was made.

Any action to provide Ukraine with powerful Leopard 2 tanks would need tight coordination with Germany's allies, most notably the United States, according to Scholz.

Berlin seeks to share the risk of any Russian response by persuading Washington to commit some of its own tanks.

To prevent Europe from confronting a nuclear-armed Russia alone, according to Ekkehard Brose, chairman of the German military's Federal Academy for Security Policy, including the United States in the decision was essential.

But he also pointed out the decision's greater historical importance.

He added that this was "not an easy concept" for Germany, which takes its involvement for the atrocities of World War II seriously, saying that "German-made tanks will square off against Russian tanks in Ukraine once again."

Brose said that Western democracies should assist Ukraine in putting an end to Russia's military offensive, saying "And yet it is the correct option."

Dmitry Peskov, a spokesperson for the Kremlin, called the German and American aims with the tanks "a fairly terrible strategy."

Peskov told reporters on Wednesday, "I am certain that many professionals see the ridiculousness of this concept.

This is a fairly catastrophic approach, just due of technology considerations. The fundamental issue is that this is a blatant underestimation of the potential value that (the delivery of tanks) would give to Ukraine's armed forces. It is a very significant fallacy, according to the Kremlin official.

These tanks will burn down, according to Peskov, "just like all the previous ones.... Except they cost a lot, and this will fall on the shoulders of European taxpayers."

Prior to the release, members of Scholz's three-party coalition administration expressed their gratitude for the information.

Senior Green party politician Katrin Goering-Eckardt exclaimed, "The Leopard's liberated!" in German.

The announcement was "a comfort for a persecuted and valiant Ukraine," according to Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, head of the parliamentary defence committee.

The choice to provide the Leopard 2 to other nations was "difficult but inevitable," she added.

One of the strongest voices for an immediate decision on arming Ukraine had been Strack-Zimmermann.

However, the action was criticised by two more minor opposition groups.

The decision was labelled "irresponsible and dangerous" by the far-right Alternative for Germany.

Germany "risks being dragged straight into the conflict as a consequence," said Tino Chrupalla, one of the group's co-leaders. The party, whose name is abbreviated as AfD, maintains cordial connections with Russia.

The Left party, which has a long history with Moscow, issued a warning about a potential escalation in the hostilities.

According to the party's parliamentary leader, Dietmar Bartsch, "the delivery of Leopard combat tanks, which eliminates a further taboo, perhaps puts us closer to a third global war than in the path of peace in Europe."

Recent surveys revealed that German voters were divided about the concept.

This week, when Poland publicly requested Germany's consent to transfer Leopard 2 tanks from Polish stock to Ukraine, Scholz came under increasing pressure.

When it came to providing tanks, Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister of Poland, said that Berlin was "delaying, being evasive, and behaving in a manner that is difficult to comprehend." He even went so far as to say that Berlin was unwilling to aid Ukraine.

As part of a bigger alliance, several European governments have also shown a readiness to give up their own battle tanks.

Weekly news in Germany According to Der Spiegel, Berlin was originally able to authorise the supply of one tank company with 14 vehicles.

But late on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made it plain that he wanted to get additional tanks from the west's allies.

"It is not a matter of five, ten, or fifteen tanks. "There is more of a need," he remarked.