Foreign Minister Baerbock approves that Germany will not prevent Poland from transferring Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine if Warsaw asks.
“They have not made an offer yet. We will not hinder them if they make an offer,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on January 22 in an interview with France’s LCI channel.
When asked if this meant Germany did not stop Poland from transferring Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine, Ms. Baerbock said, “you got the point right.”
“We have rules called end-user control,” Ms. Baerbock explains why Germany was not in a hurry in its decision to move main battle tanks to the site of hostilities.
On the same day, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius hopes for an early decision on delivering Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. Mr. Pistorius said Germany was not in a hurry to decide because the government needed to consider many factors, including the consequences for the security of the German people.
Pressure is mounting on Germany to supply Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks, which it says is key in its conflict with Russia. The Leopard 2 is particularly suitable for Ukraine because of their widespread use, which means some countries may withdraw some of their tanks to support Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Russia insists that any weapons the West transfers to Ukraine will only prolong the conflict and lead to unnecessary bloodshed. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned, “German tanks will burn up on the Ukrainian battlefield like the rest of Western weapons.”
The Leopard 2 is a third-generation battle tank developed in the 1970s for the West German Army and entered service in 1979. The 120 mm smoothbore main gun of the Leopard 2 has a stabilized system that can fire when fired. Tank moves on rough terrain.
Germany built more than 3,600 Leopard 2 tanks, a series of variants in service with the German armies and 13 European countries, as well as many countries outside the region.
The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), based in the UK, estimates the number of Leopard 2 vehicles in Europe today at more than 2,000.