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Germany postpones decision on Leopard tank delivery to Ukraine

This file photo taken on October 17, 2022 shows German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (center) lowering his head as he walks past a Leopard 2 main battle tank of the German armed forces Bundeswehr during a visit of German Bundeswehr's troops during a training exercise at the military ground in Ostenholz, northern Germany. (RONNY HARTMANN / AFP)

BERLIN – Germany has yet to decide whether it will send German-made Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine.

"There are good reasons for the delivery, there are good reasons against it," the country's Minister of Defense Boris Pistorius said on Friday after meeting his US and European counterparts in Ramstein, Germany.

Russia has repeatedly said that the supply of Western weapons to Ukraine does not help resolve the conflict but prolongs the suffering of the Ukrainian people

Pistorius said that his ministry would check the country's stocks of the Leopard tank for possible delivery to Ukraine in the next few weeks. "We are preparing for all eventualities," he said.

The delivery of lighter Marder infantry fighting vehicles, announced in early December 2022, has been criticized by some as inadequately prepared. According to the Ministry of Defense (BMVg), it was unclear at the time where the vehicles would come from.

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Instead of Leopard tanks, Pistorius announced further deliveries of Marder and Gepard tanks as well as a Patriot surface-to-air missile system. With this, the value of Germany's military support for Ukraine is to reach 3.3 billion euros ($3.6 billion).

The United States, meanwhile, has increased its support to Ukraine by $2.5 billion to $26.7 billion. The new package includes 59 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles.

Other members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), such as Poland, have reiterated their intention to supply Ukraine with Leopard tanks from their own stocks. However, this would require the approval of the manufacturing country, Germany, which has not yet decided on this matter.

Russia has repeatedly said that the supply of Western weapons to Ukraine does not help resolve the conflict but prolongs the suffering of the Ukrainian people.