Netherlands, Denmark don’t want to supply Leopard 2s to Ukraine

BERLIN, GERMANY — The federal government is likely to very clearly miss its goals of forming a Leopard coalition since the Netherlands and Denmark are still unwilling to supply Leopard main battle tanks. Of the two main battle tank battalions promised to Kyiv, only one is likely to be completed, according to an inquiry by Welt [Wednesday edition] to several European governments.

Berlin continues to give Leopard 2A4 tanks, 15 go to Prague
Photo credit: KMW

The Leopard 2 battalion of the newer “2A6” generation is likely to remain incomplete. Only 17 of them have been confirmed so far, 14 from Germany and three from Portugal. One battalion consists of 31 main battle tanks in Ukraine. As a spokesman for the Dutch Ministry of Defense reported, the country still does not want to supply Leopard 2 tanks.

The country had previously pledged 18 Leopard 2s leased from Germany to be used in a German-Dutch battalion. There are none for Ukraine, they said now. “The decision was taken in close consultation between the Netherlands and Germany,” the spokesman said. Danish government sources said the country, which has 44 tanks of the most advanced Leopard “2A7” model, will also not participate in the alliance.

At the same time, there are signs that Finland will not supply tanks either. When asked, a spokesman for the Federal Ministry of Defense said the “operational form and content” of participation in the Leopard coalition was an “ongoing process”. The Wall Street Journal, citing NATO circles, reported that Helsinki would supply tanks only after it was in NATO. Turkey is currently blocking membership.

Austria refused Ukraine

Bad news for Ukraine continues. Neutral Austria does not want to train Ukrainian soldiers to operate the Leopard 2 tank, the country’s defense minister, Mrs. Claudia Tanner, said on Monday, quoted by the Austrian daily Kurier. “Each country makes sovereign decisions about support for Ukraine within its own law,” Tanner said.

Kurier reported that Austria has one tank battalion consisting of 48 Leopard 2 tanks and despite the country’s neutrality, they are being trained by foreign soldiers, in particular from NATO member countries – Hungary and the Czech Republic.

The Kyiv Independent portal recalled that on January 30, Tanner and her Hungarian counterpart, Christoph Shalai-Bobrovnitsky, announced that their countries had agreed not to send military aid to Ukraine.

Switzerland refused Ukraine recalls that another European country also maintained neutrality regarding supplies of weapons to Ukraine. Spain’s attempt to supply Ukraine with Swiss-made anti-aircraft guns has failed. This became clear after Bern officially confirmed that such a delivery would violate the arms re-export law. These are 35 mm anti-aircraft guns. This is not the first attempt by European countries to supply Swiss weapons to Ukraine. Last year, Denmark and Germany ran into a “Swiss wall” after their request was also rejected.

Switzerland: We refuse to supply anti-aircraft guns to Ukraine
Photo credit: SAF

The news agency EFE broke the news of the Swiss rejection of the Spanish request. The release does not make it clear which 35mm anti-aircraft system was rejected.

According to experts, it is very likely that it is a 35 mm Oerlikon GDF twin cannon towed anti-aircraft gun. This weapon is produced by the Swiss branch of Rheinmetall Air Defense after acquiring the original developer Oerlikon Contraves in 2009.

The anti-aicraft gun is automatically controlled by the fire control system. On electronic manual control and with a visor with laser-distance measuring unit based on an autonomuous computer, the gun can be operated independently.


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