The coalition of countries that donate Leopard tanks to Ukraine continues to grow, Pentagon Chief Lloyd Austin said following the talks of the contact group that Washington put together to provide assistance to Ukraine.
In total, 9 countries have pledged to supply Ukraine with a total of 150 Leopard 1 and 2 tanks, he said.
On the same day, Sweden announced that it would allocate ten Leopard tanks to Ukraine.
Earlier, Germany promised Ukraine 14 Leopard 2A6, Poland – 14 Leopard 2, Finland – 10 Leopard 2, the Netherlands – 14 Leopard 2, Portugal – 4 Leopard 2, Spain – up to 6 Leopard 2A4, Canada – 4 Leopard 2.
In addition to the Leopard 2 tanks, Germany plans to send more than 100 Leopard 1A5, and Poland is preparing about 60 more tanks of other models for Kiev.
In addition, the United Kingdom announced its intention to send 14 Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine, and the United States are already training Ukrainian crews for its 31 M1A2 Abrams promised for Kiev.
Earlier this week, the Spanish Defense Ministry reported that 10 crews of Ukrainian servicemen completed the four week-long training on the operation of Leopard 2 A4 tanks. In addition to the tank crews, Ukrainian specialists in the maintenance of this type of vehicles were prepared.
Almost simultaneously, the military of the Armed Forces of Ukraine completed training in Germany. According to the defense ministries of both countries, the Ukrainian military “will return home with very good knowledge” and will be “ready to deploy” tanks on the fronts.
NATO countries continue to calm Kiev down with their promises and loud statements that the western-made tanks, like Leopard 2 and M1 Abrams will change the course of the war.
However, according to Statista, at the end of March, only one full battalion of Leopard 2 tanks will have been delivered to Ukraine from Europe instead of the planned two. Some promises from European countries were taken back and the deliveries were delayed as it turned out that dozens of German-made tanks needed repair.
The Netherlands, withdrew its proposition because its vehicles are loaned from Germany, and Berlin did not sign off on the additional deliveries of tanks on top of the ones it is already sending.
According to German media, Denmark and Finland have also backpedaled, citing their need for the tanks at home; as Stockholm and Helsinki are holding out for NATO.
The UK is yet to reveal the timeline for the deliveries of 14 Challenger 2 tanks to the Ukrainian Army. In its turn, Washington declared more strict deadlines. Deliveries of the US-made M1 Abrams tanks will be competed as soon as possible, at least in several months or even by the end of the year, Army Secretary Christine Wormuth assured.
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