Jan 25 (Reuters) – German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has decided to send Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine and allow other countries such as Poland to do so while the United States may supply Abrams tanks, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
The decision concerns at least one company of Leopard 2 A6 tanks that will be provided out of Bundeswehr stocks, said Spiegel magazine, which first reported the news. One company usually comprises 14 tanks.
Ukraine has until recently faced resistance to its requests for main battle tanks to fight against invading Russian forces.
THE UNITED STATES:
U.S. officials say Washington is poised to send dozens of its M1 Abrams battle tank, reversing its previous position. The tank has a 120 mm smooth bore gun.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has decided to send Leopard 2 battle tanks, a German-built vehicle with a 120 mm smooth bore gun that is one of the most widely used in the West. He will also allow other countries to send theirs, they say.
The British government announced on Jan. 14 that it would send its a squadron, or 14, of its Challenger 2 battle tanks, which has a 120 mm rifled gun.
Warsaw has said it is ready to send up to 14 of its Leopard 2 tanks and has been pressing Berlin to approve the move. A source said Poland had submitted a request to Germany, which must approve re-export requests of the German-built vehicle.
The Norwegian government is considering whether to send some of its Leopard tanks, newspapers reported.
The Finnish government has said it could donate a small number of Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine if a wider group of European nations also decided to do so, but said it would depend on Berlin’s approval.