Berlin will not send Leopard tanks to Kyiv, not now or in 2023
BERLIN ($1=0.94 Euros) — How many German Leopard tanks will be transferred to Ukraine? Will German tanks be transferred into the war at all? Why send the Leopard and not the Abrams? Questions that in the last seven days have been asked more and more often, not only by journalists and political analysts but also by official political figures.
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There are currently no Western tanks on the battlefields of Ukraine. Only Soviet and Russian tanks are fighting, turning the country into the future largest tank graveyard. Ukraine received a “signal” from the US that delivery of German Leopard tanks is possible. From a military, strategic and tactical point of view – such a delivery would not be a game-changer but would provide an increase in the effectiveness of the Ukrainian counter-offensive. It can be said that Kyiv “became addicted” to the American idea of Leopard tanks fighting on the Ukrainian side.
BulgarianMilitary.com also wrote about a similar idea. It is not the result of assumptions, but of “American pressure”. Such a transfer is possible along the USA-Germany-Poland axis. This year or next, as we already wrote. Polish purchases of South Korean K2 Black Panther tanks and American Abrams tanks unlock the possibility of Polish Leopard tanks being transferred to Ukraine. Therefore, political circles in Washington say that the White House “may allow Germany” to send Leopard to Ukraine.
However, the German chancellor, Mr. Olaf Scholz, is not of this opinion. Mr. Stoltz made the comment about a statement by US officials “that they [US officials] have no objection to German Leopard tanks being sent to Ukraine”. “We support Ukraine as much as possible. But we also prevent a direct military conflict between NATO and Russia,” was Mr. Scholz’s comment on the subject.
What does this comment mean? First, Mr. Scholz tries to end the subject. According to him, the Federal Republic of Germany will not give permission for German Leopard tanks to end up in the war, neither until the end of this year or in 2023.
Second, Berlin has no intention of being the “only country” to provide its tank equipment to Kyiv. I.e. Germany renounces unilateral actions. Realistically, Leopard tanks would end up in Ukraine if other countries, especially the US, also sent their tank equipment. We are talking about Abrams tanks.
Third, Mr. Scholz told reporters that this opinion was not dictated by a decision of Germany’s ruling ministers, but based on public opinion. I.e. Mr. Scholz expresses the civil position of German society in its majority.
Germany continues to hold to the claim that Abrams or Leopard tanks in Ukraine will escalate the war. They [the tanks] are also part of the “red line” that Germany does not want to cross. But will Berlin be able to resist Washington’s pressure? So far, it has done so, although the German government has been forced to face criticism not only from the United States but also from other countries supporting Ukraine. But other countries are also not taking similar actions to set an example, to begin with.
Whether Leopards end up in Ukraine seems less of a political decision than a commercial one? The US denied Germany a month ago the purchase of the Israeli Arrow 3 air defense system. Isn’t “Berlin authorized to supply Leopard tanks to Ukraine” a behind-the-scenes key tool to allow Berlin to purchase the Israeli air defense anyway?
Germany’s refusal and the German chancellor’s response contrast with the US refusal to supply Abrams tanks to Ukraine. Because now these tanks are also a “front line” that the US does not want to cross. Most likely, the US will continue to distance itself from such decisions, which would fundamentally change the policy in the Kremlin. Such a policy is not unusual for Washington – “annoy the dog, but stay away and let others take care of themselves”.
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