Slovakia gets Leopard 2 tanks and will not send its T-72s to Ukraine
BRATISLAVA ($1=1.00 Euro) — The Minister of Defense of Slovakia, Jaroslav Nagy, announced that the country is ready to hand over 30 BMP-1 units to Ukraine. He said this during the signing of the defense agreement with Germany. The equipment transferred will be from the so-called mobilization stocks. These are BMP-1s that are no longer used by the Slovak Army.
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When the deliveries of armored vehicles to Ukraine will begin is not specified for security reasons, but it is a matter of weeks. The final transfer will be announced only when all the equipment is in Ukraine. In return, the country will receive from Germany 15 Leopard 2A4 tanks. Along with the equipment, spare parts will arrive and personnel will be trained. Slovakia will receive the first Leopard already this year, and the others are expected next year.
Leopard 2A4 tanks for Slovakia will be modernized. The Minister of Defense announced that the value of the equipment that will be transferred to the country is over 100 million euros. As for the transfer of T-72 tanks to Ukraine, Yaroslav Nagy said that such delivery is not planned. “We are not currently considering sending T-72 tanks to Ukraine,” Nagy said.
We remind you that a day ago Ukraine received self-propelled guns Zuzana 2 from Slovakia. It’s about the first 4 mounts. In June, Ukraine signed a contract for the supply of 8 Slovak self-propelled artillery units.
Ukraine closely cooperates with Slovakia in the provision of military aid. In particular, the country wants to transfer MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine for 300 million euros in the fall. In addition, Slovak defense enterprises are ready to modernize and repair Ukrainian equipment.
Also, since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the country has repeatedly transferred equipment and ammunition to Ukraine.
Promised, but will it deliver?
Slovakia’s promised 15 Leopard 2A4 tanks follow the same scheme as Germany promised at least 50 tanks to Poland. Poland sent nearly 200 T-72 tanks to Ukraine and received assurances from Germany that it would receive an equivalent. And that equivalent is the Leopard 2A4.
However, it turned out that Berlin could not provide the promised quantity to Warsaw. In return, Germany offered to give 100 Leopard 1A5 tanks to Poland. However, Poland doubts Germany’s availability. Experts from Poland claim that the stored Leopard 2A4 tanks fell victim to “cannibalism”. I.e. over the years, Berlin has used much of the stockpiled Leopard 2A4s as spare parts for German tanks, or for countries that have purchased this model of tank.
But not only that – Leopard 2 tanks can become chassis donors for other weapon systems such as BREM or the PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzer.
Rheinmetall decided to answer
The dispute between Berlin and Warsaw over the delivery of the promised Leopard 2A4 tanks also involved the name of the German manufacturer Rheinmetall. The company was forced to answer the continuous questions of journalists and attacks from the Polish side. On August 3, the German company Rheinmetall issued a special press release, distributed only in German on the company’s website.
“Only the federal government decides what equipment the Bundeswehr will receive and whether support to Ukraine or other partner countries will be provided directly or in other ways – for example as a ring exchange,” the press release said.
Apparently, the tension along the German-Polish political axis is gradually starting to escalate. Most likely, German or Polish media [we assume, not claim – ed.] tried to contact the German manufacturer. Most likely, the topics were not within the competence of the German manufacturer.
The German company Rheinmetall also says in its press release that it receives many inquiries from the media daily regarding the intensely political discussion related to the defense of Ukraine. In the public sphere, as well as in politics, there is an intense discussion about how Ukraine should be supported in its defense against Russian aggression. “Five months ago, after Chancellor Scholz’s turning-the-corner speech, the federal government asked German industry for significant contributions to support Ukraine. We responded quickly to this request and have been in close contact with the government ever since,” the company said.
“Rheinmetall sees its role in ongoing processes as supporting the federal government where it is wanted or needed with its technological know-how and relevant industrial services. This applies both to the needs-based equipment of the Bundeswehr and to military support services for Ukraine or other countries,” added Rheinmetall.
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