Germany “is ready to move quickly” if allies reach consensus on tanks for Ukraine, defense minister says
Ramstein Air Base-Germany is “ready to move quickly” if allies reach a consensus on sending tanks to Ukraine, Germany’s Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said Friday. “As far as the delivery of the Leopard is concerned, there is no unanimous opinion,” Pistorius told reporters on the sidelines of a high stakes defense meeting at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.
He rebuffed claims Germany has been “standing in the way” of a “united coalition” of countries in favor of sending tanks to Ukraine.
“There are good reasons for the delivery and there are good reasons against it. And given the overall situation of a war that has been going on for almost one year now, all the pros and cons have to be weighed very carefully, and that assessment is explicitly shared by many allies,” he added. Pistorius said he had instructed officials to carry out an audit of Germany’s stocks of Leopard 2 tanks so the country can “move quickly” in the event of a “positive decision.” The Defense Minister added that the issue of export authorizations was not discussed during Friday’s meetings. Germany’s Defense Minister Boris Pistorius also denied that the country’s decision to potentially send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine is tied to whether the United States makes a similar move and sends M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine.
When asked about the issue during an interview with German public broadcaster ARD Thursday, Pistorius said he was “not aware of such an arrangement.”
According to Pistorius, no decision has been made as to whether Germany will send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.
The defense minister told reporters on the sidelines of a high stakes defense meeting at Ramstein Airbase on Friday that “we all cannot say today when a decision will be made and what that decision will be on Leopard tanks.”
Lloyd Austin doesn’t particularly answer the Germany point of the question insisting this isn’t “dependent on one single platform”.
“Our goal is to provide the capability Ukraine needs to be successful in the near term.
“This is a very, very capable package and if employed properly it will enable them to be successful. “We talked about additional training. This is something we haven’t been able to do in the past.
“They’ll train for weeks.”
Gen Mark A. Milley adds that the frontline is quite static and Russia is still occupying large parts of Ukraine.
He explains it would be “difficult this year to eject Russia from every occupied inch of Ukraine”. “This war will end at a negotiating table,” he says. “This is turning into a catastrophe for Russia.”