23 January 2023
by Nicholas Fiorenza
The Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting at Ramstein Air Base on 20 January failed to agree to send Leopard 2 tanks to Kyiv (photo of Polish Leopard 2PL). (PGZ)
The Ukraine Defense Contact Group met at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on 20 January but failed to come to an agreement on sending Leopard 2 tanks to Kyiv.
The new German Defence Minister, Boris Pistorius, said that Berlin had not reached a decision on supplying Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks. However, he ordered his ministry to conduct an inventory of the different versions of Leopard 2s available in case there is a decision.
German news magazine Der Spiegel reported on 22 January that the German Ministry of Defence had already made an inventory of German Leopard 2s in mid-2022, which numbered 312 in Bundeswehr and 99 in industry stocks, with one tank being phased out. Nineteen of these tanks being used for training purposes could be sent to Ukraine, according to Der Spiegel.
He stated Berlin's position that a decision on whether or not to supply Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine was still open but had to be carefully weighed.
Pistorius said the first priority was to supply Ukraine with air-defence systems, noting that Germany and the United States were each providing a Patriot system, with training beginning in the coming weeks. He announced that Germany was sending Ukraine seven more Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft guns in February, in addition to another Iris-T ground-based air-defence system and 24 missiles.
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The Ukraine Defense Contact Group met at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on 20 January but failed to com...