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Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands to hand over 100 Leopard 1 tanks to Ukraine

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According to the German vice-chancellor, Ukraine will receive a “double-digit number” of Leopard-1 tanks in the first quarter

Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands will pool funds to restore at least 100 old 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 Kyiv, said that between 20 and 25 tanks would arrive in Ukraine by summer, about 80 by the end of the year, and more than 100 by 2024. This is stated in a statement by the Cabinet of Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, released after the meeting with Pistorius.

Ukraine should receive a “double-digit number” of Leopard 1 tanks in the first quarter, German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck said.

According to Khabek, at the moment it is not known exactly how many of the promised 178 tanks will be transferred to Kyiv, since 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 Kyiv would receive enough tanks “to repel the Russian spring offensive.”

When asked if the decision to send them should have been made sooner, Habek replied: “I hope that this decision was made just in time.”

Dutch Defense Minister Kasja Ollongren said the Leopard 1 tanks are “still usable” for combat use, despite the fact that this model is old.

“This is a really proven tank,” she said in an interview with the Dutch broadcaster NOS. “They are being 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, the 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 approved the export to Ukraine of up to 178 Leopard-1 tanks.

“How many of these tanks can actually be delivered to Ukraine as a result depends on the amount of necessary restoration work,” the German ministries of economy and defense said in a joint statement.

Speaking at a press conference with Oleksiy Reznikov in Kyiv, Pistorius noted that the Ukrainian military had already gone to Germany for training on more modern Leopard-2 tanks, which Berlin also promised 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 said their Leopard 1 transfer initiative is open to new partners, adding that Belgium has already shown “interest in participating”.

Earlier, the head of Rheinmetall said that 20-25 Leopard-1 tanks would be sent to Ukraine this year, and the remaining 88 tanks of this model belonging to it would be sent next year.

source: golosameriki

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