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Germany agrees to send heavy Leopard tanks to Ukraine

Pressure has been building for weeks on German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's government to send the tanks and allow other NATO allies to do the same ahead of expected spring offensives by both sides.

January 25, 2023 / 05:07 PM IST
Representative Image

Representative Image

Germany said on Wednesday it would supply its Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, overcoming misgivings about sending heavy weaponry that Kyiv sees as crucial to defeat the Russian invasion but Moscow casts as a provocation.

Pressure has been building for weeks on German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's government to send the tanks and allow other NATO allies to do the same ahead of expected spring offensives by both sides.

Scholz's government had stalled, wary of moves that could prompt Russia to escalate or suck the NATO alliance into becoming a party to the conflict.

Germany's decision paves the way for other countries such as Poland, Spain, Finland and Norway to supply some of their Leopard tanks to Ukraine, going some way towards delivering the hundreds of tanks that Ukraine says it needs, especially if the United States follows suit.