EU countries to supply Ukraine with tanks

Shiva Singh
BURG / GERMANY - JUNE 25, 2016: German armored recovery vehicle, Bergepanzer 2 from Bundeswehr pulls a damaged tank at open day in barrack Burg / Saxony-Anhalt

Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) EU member states Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands announced plans to supply Ukraine with German Leopard 1 tanks.

In a joint statement on Tuesday, the three countries noted they would pool funds to repair at least 100 tanks from industry stocks, according to Reuters reporting.

They stressed Ukraine will receive at least 100 Leopard 1s in the coming months along with spare parts, logistical support, training and ammunition.

Kajsa Ollongren, Dutch Minister of Defence, noted that Leopard 1s were “definitely still suitable” for use even though they are not as modern as Leopard 2s.

“It’s really a tested tank,” she stated and pointed out “they’re being fixed up and made battle-ready, so they will definitely be useful for the Ukrainians and also better than a number of Russian tanks.”

In the joint statement, the countries noted that details of the plan still need to be negotiated with companies that own the tanks.

It is not clear exactly how many tanks will be sent to Ukraine or whether the companies in question will share the costs.

Also on Tuesday, the German government gave the green light for export of 187 Leopard 1s to Ukraine.

Deliveries depend on condition

German ministries of defence and economy stressed in a joint statement that the number of tanks that “can actually be delivered to Ukraine at the end of the day depends on the extent of the restoration work needed.”

German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall and a company in northern Germany own approximately 180 Leopard 1s.

Germany announced the decision after its new Minister of Defence Boris Pistorius visited his Ukrainian counterpart Oleksii Reznikov and President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The three EU member states stressed that their initiative to send Leopard 1s to Ukraine was open to other countries, noting that Belgium showed “initial interest to participate.”

Rheinmetall previously announced plans to send between 20 and 25 Leopard 1 tanks to Ukraine this year, stressing that the remainder of the 88 Leopard 1s it owns would be sent in 2024.Last month, the German government succumbed to pressure to supply Ukraine with Leopard 2s from army stocks.

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Shiva is a professional digital marketer who covers the latest updates in the tech industry from across the globe. With an experience of over 5 years in the world of Information Technology, he likes to keep up with every major development and writes fact-based pieces backed by in-depth research.