Politico, citing an anonymous source in the French government, reported that Paris was considering giving Ukraine Leclerc tanks as part of international assistance in the fight against Russian aggression. “International efforts to transfer tanks to Ukraine may depend on Germany, which in turn awaits the move of the United States,” commented Politico.
– This issue is complicated and has not yet been settled in Paris. But we’re thinking about it,” the source told Politico. – We will see what decision will be taken at the next meeting of governments France and Germany, he added.
Franco-German talks are scheduled for Sunday. International Handover Efforts Ukraine tanks may depend on Germany, but they are waiting in turn for the US to move, which is not happening, Politico commented.
It is expected that sooner or later Germany may allow allies such as Poland or Finland to send their Leopards to Kiev. And representatives of the authorities and diplomats in Berlin believe that the chancellor may even offer Ukraine help in training soldiers and servicing Leopards, the portal added.
“The Headache of European Leaders”
Politico points out that the Germans have been repeating for some time that Berlin’s decision to hand over the Leopards is linked to the Americans’ decision to send the M1 Abrams tanks. US Presidential Administration Joe Biden is getting ready to announce a new US military aid package for Ukraine on Friday. However, it is not expected that it will include American tanks.
“This is giving headaches to European leaders such as the Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawieckiwhich wants to create a broad alliance of countries, each of which will provide Ukraine with several Leopards,” the service said.
So far, only Finland has publicly mentioned the possibility of participating in the tank transfer program to Ukraine. Spain, which has more than 200 Leopard 2 tanks, has already stated that giving some of them to Ukraine, as Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares put it on Tuesday, “is not an option at the moment.”
However, EU diplomats cited by Politico say it will be difficult for countries like Spain to hold their ground if Berlin and Washington change course on tank supplies to Ukraine.
The pressure on Scholz
The pressure on German Chancellor Olaf Scholz increased after Great Britain announced the shipment of Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine, the portal assessed. British Defense Minister Ben Wallace is attending a meeting with his Polish and Baltic counterparts in Estonia on Thursday “to further increase the pressure on Berlin.”
“For months, Scholz has been warning against going it alone on Ukraine’s arms supply,” commented Katja Leikert, a German MP for the centre-right CDU, the country’s main opposition party. 2 to Kiev is a dangerous act on its own, she said.
Main photo source: defence.gouv.fr