After weeks of rising pressure on Berlin to provide Kyiv with the more powerful armaments it claims it needs to repel invading Russian soldiers, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has reportedly agreed to equip Ukraine with Leopard 2 battle tanks, according to media sources.
The announcement that Berlin will send combat tanks to Kyiv comes as US government representatives told the media that Washington was also prepared to launch a procedure that would ultimately send dozens of M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine’s front lines.
The revelation was denounced by Russia’s envoy to the US as “another blatant provocation.”
In comments posted on the embassy’s Telegram messaging app on Wednesday, ambassador Anatoly Antonov said, “It is obvious that Washington is purposefully trying to inflict a strategic defeat on us.”
Such cargoes, according to Ukrainian officials, might contribute to the retake of Russian territory by Ukrainian soldiers.
Up until today, the US and Germany have defied pressure from both inside and outside their countries to send their tanks to Ukraine. The advanced training and upkeep needed for the high-tech Abrams have been acknowledged by Washington. Concerns about NATO joining the fight with Russia directly have been raised by Berlin.
According to unidentified government sources cited by German media on Tuesday, Berlin has also given other nations, including Poland and Finland, permission to re-export their inventories of tanks produced in Germany to Ukraine.
In general, before exporting military equipment acquired from Germany to another nation, the purchasing nation must have approval from Berlin.
The German army, or Bundeswehr, will deploy at least one company of Leopard 2A6 tanks, according to a news source, which broke the story of Scholz’s agreement to supply tanks to Ukraine. In most cases, equipping a company entails transferring more than 14 tanks.
The German government made no public remarks.
The Kremlin has claimed that arming Ukraine with tanks would not alter the situation and that the West would come to regret its “delusion” that Kyiv could defeat Russia on the battlefield.