Germany to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine Loop Cayman Islands

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FILE — A Leopard 2A6 tank drives through the terrain during the ‘Land Operations’ information training exercise in Bergen, Germany, Oct. 10, 2014.. (Peter Steffen/dpa via AP, file)

The German government confirmed on Wednesday it will provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 battle tanks and approve requests by other countries to do the same.

Speaking to lawmakers in the German parliament, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the decision had been made following “intensive consultations” with the country’s allies.

After weeks of hesitation that saw growing impatience among Germany’s allies, Berlin announced Wednesday that it would initially provide Ukraine with one company of Leopard 2 A6 tanks, which comprises 14 vehicles, from its own stocks.

The goal is for Germany and its allies to provide Ukraine with a total of two battalions, or 88 tanks.

The long-awaited decision came after US officials said Tuesday that a preliminary agreement had been struck for the United States to send M1 Abrams tanks to help Ukraine’s troops push back Russian forces that remain entrenched in the country’s east almost a year after Russia invaded its neighbour.

Scholz had insisted that any decision to provide Ukraine with powerful Leopard 2 tanks would need to be taken in conjunction with Germany’s allies, chiefly the United States.

By getting Washington to commit some of its own tanks, Berlin hopes to share the risk of any backlash from Russia.

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