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Sunday 5 February 2023 Dublin: 7°C
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# leopard tanks
Germany to provide Ukraine with Leopard tanks after intense pressure - reports
Unnamed government sources told a German news channel that Ukraine would receive 1 tanks.

GERMANY WILL PROVIDE Ukraine with Leopard tanks, national media reported today, following months of intense pressure on Berlin to supply the armaments much sought after by Kyiv to repel Russian troops.

Berlin will also allow allies with stocks of the powerful German-made tanks to send them on to Ukraine, the German media said.

The reports came as the Wall Street Journal cited US officials saying that Washington is now leaning towards sending a significant number of Abrams M1 tanks to Ukraine, with an announcement possibly coming this week.

Citing unnamed government sources, rolling news channel NTV said Germany would hand over a company of Leopard 2 A6 tanks.

In the German armed forces, a company comprises 14 tanks.

Separately, Spiegel Online said the tanks would come from the Bundeswehr’s own stocks, while other deliveries further down the line may stem from industry stocks.

Contacted by AFP, a spokesman for Chancellor Olaf Scholz declined to comment on the reports.

Earlier today, German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said he encouraged allies to start training Ukrainian forces on using the tanks.

He had said a decision was still out on greenlighting their deliveries, but promised a verdict imminently.

Ukraine and several of its allies have been urging Germany for weeks to allow the delivery of the Leopards, but a US-led meeting of Kyiv’s allies in Germany last week failed to yield a decision.

Over the last weeks, Chancellor Olaf Scholz had repeatedly stressed that Germany would not go it alone on sending tanks.

A senior US lawmaker told AFP last week that Scholz had told US congressmen that Germany will supply the battle tanks to Ukraine if the United States also sent tanks.

Swiss exports

A Swiss parliamentary commission voted today to request a change to the country’s laws to allow its war material to be transferred via third countries to Ukraine.

Switzerland has so far refused to allow countries that hold Swiss-made weaponry to export it on to war-ravaged Ukraine, in line with its strict military neutrality.

Under Switzerland’s War Materiel Act, export requests cannot be approved if the recipient country is in an international armed conflict.

But the parliament’s security policy committee decided today, with 14 votes in favour and 11 opposed, to back a motion to request a law change to make such transfers possible.

That motion maintained it should be possible to revoke the declarations of non-reexport, which countries purchasing Swiss arms must sign, “in cases where there is a violation of the international ban on resorting to force, and specifically in the case of the Russian-Ukrainian war,” the commission said.

 – © AFP 2023

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