2023-01-19 11:12:55

Ukraine war: German tanks for Ukraine depend on US approval

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By Jenny Hill

in Berlin

Germany will only send battle tanks to Ukraine if the US does the same, multiple reports suggest.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz is under increasing international and domestic pressure to supply German-built Leopard 2 tanks or at least approve their delivery by third countries.

Poland and Finland have both promised to send their Leopards - but need Germany's permission to do so.

But Berlin is still in talks with the US about its official position.

Many expect an announcement to follow a meeting of Ukraine's Western allies at the American military base of Ramstein in southwestern Germany tomorrow.

Reports suggest that Mr Scholz will only give the green light to the Leopards if the US President Joe Biden agrees to supply American Abrams tanks.

However, the Pentagon's top security adviser, Colin Kahl, said late on Thursday that the US wasn't prepared to meet Kyiv's demands for the tanks.

"The Abrams tank is a very complicated piece of equipment. It's expensive. It's hard to train on. It has a jet engine," Mr Kahl said.

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