Germany has approved the export of Leopard 1 battle tanks to Ukraine from industry stocks, a government spokesperson confirmed on Friday at a regular news conference in Berlin.
“I can confirm that an export permit has been issued,” the spokesperson said. He declined to comment on the number of tanks that would be exported.
German newspaper SZ reported earlier on Friday that Rheinmetall and the Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesellschaft were poised to refurbish dozens of Leopard 1 tanks in order to supply them to Ukraine to fight the Russian invasion.
Amid mounting international pressure last month, the German government announced the planned delivery of the more modern Leopard 2 tanks from army stocks.
Germany aims to establish two battalions with Leopard 2 tanks and initially provide 14 Leopard 2 tanks from its own inventory