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Germany is resisting intense strain over tanks for Ukraine

January 25, 2023: Germany has again refused to commit to permitting German-made tanks to be sent to Ukraine even after intense pressure.

On TuesdayGerman Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said that there has remained the exact Berlin position on whether to allow German-made Leopard 2 tanks to be sent to Ukraine or on permitting other countries with German-made tanks to ship their units to Kyiv. He added that the government still needed to assess the situation.

“I can let you know that there is no new information here, the situation has not changed, and we are preparing our decision, which will come very soon,” he stated at a joint press conference with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

“We are looking into the matter of the present status regarding our Leopard tanks,” he stated in translated comments. He noted that Berlin was looking not only at its inventory and industry stocks but also at the compatibility of its tanks for coming back to Ukraine, as well as issues around the logistics of supply and maintenance.

Aware that Berlin’s reluctance more than tanks has attracted widespread criticism, Pistorius insisted that Germany was one of Ukraine’s top military supporters aside from the U.S. and U.K. and that this was “often forgotten in the public discussion.”

The recent comments from Berlin come after months of pressure on the German administration to offer Ukraine some of its Leopard 2 tanks or to permit its allies to export their German-made battle tanks to the war-torn country.

In the previous month, the defence summit at the Ramstein air base failed to deliver an agreement on tanks for Kyiv, and until now, only the U.K. had pledged to send 14 of its own Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine.

On Tuesday, NATO’s Stoltenberg sought to defend Germany from what is to be inevitable criticism following this latest refusal to budge on tanks, which says that he was “confident that we will have a solution soon.”

He noted that the war was reaching a “pivotal moment” and that allies “must provide heavier units to Ukraine. And we must do it faster.”

Kyiv has for months pleaded with its allying for heavy battle tanks that it says could be decisive in the war’s outcome.

Germany stated that it to be reluctant to send its tanks unless the U.S. delivered its own Abrams vehicles. Washington has been noncommittal, saying that training to maintain and operate its tanks would require months.

German Defense Minister Pistorius stated on Tuesday that there was no disunity amid Berlin and its allies, saying, “there are a few partners that are still evaluating their talks, and others want to go a bit short, but we are not un-united.”

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Germany is resisting intense strain over tanks for Ukraine