“Does not depend on US Abrams”
Federal government denies connection to “Leopard” delivery
1/20/2023 1:03 p.m
According to media reports, a delivery of “Leopard 2” tanks should be linked to whether the United States also sends battle tanks to Ukraine. The denial follows from Berlin.
The federal government has clarified that it does not make the delivery of German-made “Leopard 2” tanks dependent on the delivery of M1 Abrams tanks from the USA. “At no time (…) was there a link or a demand that one thing had to happen so that the other could happen,” said government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit in Berlin. The “Bild” newspaper and “Süddeutsche Zeitung” had previously reported that Chancellor Olaf Scholz only wanted to deliver the “Leopard” tanks if the United States agreed to their Abrams tanks.
“It’s hard for me to imagine a German chancellor dictating any conditions or making demands on an American president,” Hebestreit said. However, he also reiterated that coordinated action with the United States is important to the federal government. This was also the case with the decisions about the “Marder” armored personnel carriers or the multiple rocket launchers.
In recent months, the Federal Chancellor has repeatedly made and announced key decisions on military support for Ukraine in close consultation with the American President. “That is the guideline for all our actions, which we always follow,” said Hebestreit.
Poland and Finland have already announced that they want to deliver “Leopard 2” tanks in the European network. Germany has not yet positioned itself on this. Hebestreit said there was still no official request from Poland. On the question of how the federal government would react if Poland were to deliver without a permit, the government spokesman said: “All our partners certainly want to behave in accordance with the law.”