At the US military base in Ramstein, under the chairmanship of US Defense Minister Lloyd Austin, another meeting of the contact group for defense support to Ukraine was held among 50 countries, i.e. in a wider formula than just NATO. The meeting left Ukraine in limbo, they failed to adopt a common position on the supply of battle tanks, comments the portal of the daily Bild.
It was a “great tank thriller” – emphasizes “Bild”, describing the Friday meeting of defense ministers and high-ranking military personnel at the Ramstein airbase (Rhineland-Palatinate). New German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) met there with his American counterpart – Lloyd Austin.
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“It was a fight between Germany and the US over the supply of battle tanks to Ukraine,” but no deal was reached on Friday in this transatlantic dispute. As “Bild” found out, “Chancellor Scholz refused to make concessions, a United States also remained stubborn.”
Behind the scenes there was a fierce battle for tanks for Ukraine
On the sidelines of the conference, Minister Pistorius announced that he had ordered to check the availability and number of Leopards owned by Germany. However, he noted that he was “preparing for the worst-case scenario” and a decision on a possible delivery would be made “as soon as possible”.
As Pistorius explained, the impression that Germany is blocking the decision is wrong. “There are good arguments for the supply, there are also good arguments against,” the SPD politician explained.
“Behind the scenes there was a fierce battle for tanks for Ukraine” – emphasized “Bild”. The US and other allies expected Germany to supply Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks and allow other countries to do the same.
“According to the American broadcaster CNN, Germany strongly opposed it. Because Germany demanded that the US also supply its Abrams battle tanks” – adds “Bild”. As “Bild” found out, the chancellor Olaf Scholz was to make such a condition to the president of the United States Joe Biden.
Main photo source: EPA