Germany Holds Firm on Leopard 2 Tanks

Germany Holds Firm on Leopard 2 Tanks

Germany has announced they still have not reached a final decision regarding delivering Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, despite the requests of her allies. (Photo from Chad J. McNeeley, DOD)


Today on January 20th a massive meeting was held at the Ramstein Airbase in Germany. Around 50 nations, many of them NATO members, met in order to decide on the latest arms package for Ukraine. One thing Ukraine has been asking for is 300 Western tanks. In particular, Germany’s Leopard 2 tanks. Yesterday on January 19th, Lithuania’s Defence Minister spoke of his expectation that todays meeting would bring with it the announcement that finally the Leopard 2’s would be sent to Ukraine. However, it appears the meeting did not go how he believed it would.

« Today, we still cannot say when a decision will be taken and what the decision will be when it comes to the Leopard tank » -German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius

German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius (Photo by BRITTA PEDERSEN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Many nations wish to send their own supply of the Leopard 2 to Ukraine, but require permission from Germany to re-export them, which Germany has not granted. Germany states that if the US sends Abrams tanks, they will send Leopard 2’s.

« There are good reasons for the deliveries, and there are good reasons against, and in view of the entire situation of a war that has been ongoing for almost one year, all pros and cons must be weighed very carefully »

There is some hope for Ukraine, however, who’s President Zelensky addressed the meeting, urging swifter decisions in regards to deliveries. Stating the war with Russia « does not allow delays ».

Ukrainian President Zelensky addresses the meeting at the Ramstein Airbase. (Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)

Poland’s Defence Minister, though also stating no decision on the tanks was reached, stated he believes that efforts to supply them will eventually succeed.

« Hope comes from the fact that … defence ministers of 15 countries met on the sidelines of today’s conference and we talked about this topic »

Poland is apart of a wider coalition of nations that has stated their will to supply Leopard 2’s to Ukraine, a coalition that is continuously urging Germany to grant re-export permissions.

« I am convinced that coalition building will end in success » -Minister of Defence Mariusz Blaszczak. 

Sébastien Gray
Sébastien Gray
Sébastien Gray is a published journalist and historicist with over 5 years experience in writing. His primary focus is on East and West African affairs.
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