Germany will not send Leopard tanks to Ukraine, neither now nor in 2023. 

Olaf Scholz: We prevent a direct confrontation between NATO and Russia

Currently, there are no Western tanks on the battlefields of Ukraine, but Kyiv received a “signal” from the US that the delivery of German Leopard tanks is possible.

 This assumption raised several questions about how many German Leopard tanks will be transferred to Ukraine or why the Americans talked about the transfer of Leopard tanks, not Abrams. 

Questions have recently been asked more and more often, not only by journalists and political analysts but also by political figures.

From a military, strategic and tactical point of view – the delivery of a small number of German Leopard tanks to Ukraine would not change the situation on the battlefield, but it would add to the Ukrainian counteroffensive. 

Almost two weeks ago, the United States made it clear to the German government that it supports the delivery of German Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine if Berlin decides to do so. 

This was reported to the German publication Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung by two sources with access to confidential information from the two countries.

According to these sources, since October, Jake Sullivan, the US president’s national security adviser, has conveyed the US position to Jens Platner, the German Chancellor’s foreign policy adviser.

According to the quoted source, Sullivan told Pletner over the phone that the US would welcome Germany’s delivery of Leopard 2 tanks, but that would have to be done on Germany’s initiative. 

However, the German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, does not support this approach. Stoltz commented on a statement by US officials “according to which they [US officials] have no objection to sending German Leopard tanks to Ukraine.”

“We support Ukraine as much as possible. But we also prevent a direct military conflict between NATO and Russia, ” Scholz commented on this topic.

Germany will not unilaterally transfer Western-type tanks to Ukraine, and this condition will remain in force next year, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in an interview with Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Scholz assured that Germany is one of the strongest supporters of Ukraine and provides modern weapons such as the Panzerhaubitze 2000 self-propelled howitzer, multiple rocket launchers, Gepard anti-aircraft systems, and the latest Iris-T air defense systems.

” However, we adhere to three clear principles: First, we support Ukraine as much as possible. Second, we prevent a direct confrontation between NATO and Russia. And third, there will be no unilateral actions from Germany’s side. 

This is a criterion of our decisive but cautious policy – and it will also be in force next year. I think the vast majority of Germans think this is the right thing to do,” Scholz said.

What can we understand from the German Chancellor’s statements?

 First, Olaf Scholz tries to put an end to the subject. According to him, Germany will only permit German Leopard tanks to arrive in Ukraine at the end of this year and in 2023.

Second, Berlin has no intention of being “the only country” supplying Kyiv with modern tanks. In other words, Leopard tanks would reach Ukraine if other countries, especially the US, also sent tanks like Abrams.

Third, Scholz told reporters that this opinion was not dictated by a decision of Germany’s ruling ministers but was based on public opinion. 

Germany continues to argue that supplying Ukraine with Abrams or Leopard tanks would escalate the war. The delivery of Leopard tanks has become a “red line” that Germany does not want to cross.

But will Berlin be able to resist Washington’s pressure? 

So far, it has, although the German government has had to face criticism not only from the United States but also from other countries that support Ukraine. For starters, no other countries are taking similar actions to make an example of Germany.

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