Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands will pool funds to restore at least 100 ex-Leopard 1 tanks in their possession for onward transfer to Ukraine, Berlin, Copenhagen and Amsterdam said in a joint statement released on Tuesday. .
Representatives of the three countries said that in the coming months Ukraine will receive at least 100 Leopard-1 A5 tanks, as well as training, logistical support, spare parts and ammunition for them.
German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius during today’s visit to Kiev said between 20 and 25 tanks will arrive in Ukraine by summer, about 80 by the end of the year. year and more than 100 by 2024. This is stated in a statement from the Cabinet of Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, released after the meeting with Pistorius.
Ukraine is expected to receive a “double-digit number” of Leopard 1 tanks in the first quarter, German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck has said.
According to Khabek, at the moment it is unclear how many of the promised 178 tanks will be transferred to Kiev, because the Leopards “need to be repaired for combat, re-equipped”.
Speaking to reporters in Washington after meeting with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan, Habek assured that Kiev would receive enough tanks “to repel the Russian spring offensive.” .
When asked if the decision to send them should have been made earlier, Habek replied: “I hope that decision was made just in time.”
Dutch Defense Minister Kasja Ollongren said Leopard 1 tanks are “still fit” for combat use, despite the model being old.
“It’s a really proven tank,” she said in an interview with Dutch broadcaster NOS. “They are repaired and prepared for battle, so the Ukrainians will definitely need them, and they are also better than a number of Russian tanks.”
According to the statement, details of the deal have yet to be agreed with the companies that have the tanks on their balance sheets.
The exact number of tanks and the possibility of cost sharing with companies are not yet clear. There are about 180 Leopard 1 tanks in Germany, owned by arms manufacturer Rheinmetall.
In total, the German government has approved the export to Ukraine of up to 178 Leopard-1 tanks.
“How many of these tanks can be delivered to Ukraine accordingly depends on the extent of the necessary restoration work,” Germany’s economics and defense ministries said in a joint statement.
Speaking at a press conference with Oleksiy Reznikov in Kiev, Pistorius noted that the Ukrainian army had already traveled to Germany to train on more modern Leopard-2 tanks, which Berlin also promised to Ukraine.
The German Ministry of Defense announced on Twitter that the first Leopard-2 tanks will appear in Ukraine at the end of March.
Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands have said their Leopard 1 transfer initiative is open to new partners, adding that Belgium has already expressed its “interest in participating”.
Earlier, the head of Rheinmetall said that 20-25 Leopard-1 tanks will be sent to Ukraine this year, and the remaining 88 tanks of this model belonging to him will be sent next year.
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