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There is growing pressure on Germany from Poland and France regarding the supply of tanks to Ukraine. Scholz maintains his opposition

There is growing pressure on Germany from Poland and France regarding the supply of tanks to Ukraine.  Scholz maintains his opposition

There is growing pressure on Germany from Poland and France regarding the supply of tanks to Ukraine. Scholz maintains his opposition

The head of the German government, Olaf Scholz, is against any deliveries of Leopard tanks to Ukraine. However, the pressure on Germany from Poland and France, which want such supplies, is growing, writes the Politico portal. Experts also point out that the Marder vehicles already promised to Ukraine by Germany should be used together with the Leopard tanks.

Western military analysts fear Moscow will launch a new offensive in the coming weeks or months. Ukrainians need more weapons and equipment.

Less than a week after the decisions FranceGermany and USA, which promised Western infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine, attention is now focused on heavy tanks. Kyiv is under pressure on this issue, but so are some Western states, who see tanks as the next logical step in arming Ukraine and the missing link necessary to unleash the potential of infantry fighting vehicles.

READ MORE: Additional military equipment for Ukraine. The talks between the leaders of the US and Germany ended with a joint decision

Politico points out that Great Britain seems ready to send tanks, and France and Poland are putting pressure on Germany to send Leopard 2 tanks. Considered among the best in the world, these machines are equipped with a 120 mm gun, as well as state-of-the-art protection and armor.

The French point out that there are a lot of Leopards in Europe. Despite this, as indicated by the Brussels portal, the German chancellor Olaf Scholz opposes any deliveries to Ukraine. Since the tanks are German-made, Berlin has veto power over any re-export by Western countries.

German Leopard tankShutterstock

Spain was the first country to offer Ukraine 40 older Leopards from its stock last June. But Madrid quickly backtracked when officials in Berlin warned that Spain would “cross an unofficial red line and possibly put Berlin in a very uncomfortable position.”

Now, however, the pressure on Berlin from other countries is increasing. “We encourage other countries to form a broad coalition for the transfer of more modern tanks, such as Leopard tanks, to Ukraine,” Deputy Foreign Minister Paweł Jablonski told Polish Radio on Monday, quoted by “Politico”. – Poland can hand over the Leopards only in a coalition of countries – the Prime Minister announced on Saturday Mateusz Morawieckiadding that talks with other countries on the conclusion of such an alliance are underway.

Experts: Marder tanks should be used together with Leopard tanks

A German government spokesman said there was “no automatism” to make the delivery of the Leopards “the next logical step” after the decision to dispatching Marder infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine. Many military experts, however, disagree. They claim that the Marders promised by Germany should be used in conjunction with the Leopards.

Former German army chief Bruno Kasdorf argues that the Marder “unleashes its full potential when paired with tanks” because “they complement each other perfectly on the battlefield.”

Marder 1A3GettyImages

Simultaneously Great Britain is considering sending a dozen of its tanks to Ukraine Challenger 2. If it does, it will make it much more difficult for Berlin to use the argument that it does not want to act alone in the matter of sending heavy armaments.

France puts pressure on Germany, but does not want to hand over its tanks

Paris, meanwhile, remains silent about sending modern tanks, preferring to leave Berlin in the spotlight. “Kyiv asked France to send Leclercs – the main tank used by the French army. When asked about this, a French official argued that Leclerc tanks are no longer being produced, which raises questions about maintenance and spare parts supply – problems that Leopards, due to their widespread availability in many countries and continuous production have nothing to do with it.

One French official allegedly said that France would be willing to deploy its Leclerc tanks with NATO allies who are sending some of their own Leopards to Ukraine – “to fill the gap”.

According to Politico, this is surprising because France is currently upgrading its Leclerc tanks, and the army intends to keep them in service until 2040. “How is it going to do that without spare parts? And would it give NATO allies tanks that are supposedly unsustainable?” the portal asks.

“How many deaths of Ukrainians could have been avoided if the West had immediately sent these weapons to Kiev?” concludes Politico.

Main photo source: SASCHA STEINBACH/EPA/PAP

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