Oslo pushes the pace: Norway wants to deliver Leopard 2 as “as soon as possible”.

Oslo pushes the pace
Norway wants to deliver Leopard 2 as “as soon as possible”.

Several countries are ready to deliver German-made battle tanks to Ukraine. But when will the first roll onto the battlefield? If it goes to Norway, as soon as possible. But first soldiers have to be trained – and other partners can’t make as much speed.

Norway wants to deliver part of its German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine “as soon as possible”. It is important “that we work closely with our partners to ensure that this aid makes a real difference for Ukraine,” Norwegian Defense Minister Bjorn Arild Gram told AFP. How many of its 36 Leopard 2 tanks Norway will give up has not yet been determined, Arild added.

Norway is one of several European countries that promised to deliver the main battle tanks last week after the green light from Berlin. German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius had announced that Germany would deliver 14 Leopard tanks to Ukraine in late March or early April. Overall, European partners want according to the Ministry of Defense “Quickly” assemble two tank battalions with Leopard 2 tanks for Ukraine. The training of Ukrainian soldiers on the Leopard 2 will probably take about eight weeks and should begin in Germany soon.

For example, Spain still needs some time before it supplies Leopard 2 tanks from its own stock. The country has up to 53 of the older 2A4 models eligible for Ukraine. However, these have been shut down for a long time and need to be repaired. Defense Minister Margarita Robles hinted last summer that the tanks were in “absolutely desolate condition” and not operational at all. How many Spain ultimately delivers is unclear. According to the daily newspaper “El País”, the government has ruled out selling its more modern Leopard 2E tanks to Ukraine.

Poland is also pushing ahead again and again

One of Ukraine’s closest allies and biggest supporters is Poland, which in the past has repeatedly put pressure on tank deliveries, especially on Germany. Warsaw wants to deliver significantly more battle tanks to Ukraine than previously announced. Poland is ready to deliver “60 of our modernized tanks” in addition to 14 already promised Leopard main battle tanks made in Germany, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki recently told the Canadian TV station CTV News. Overall, the country has delivered “already 250 tanks (…) or even more” to Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression.

For months, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had been pushing for the delivery of heavy battle tanks. Norway and other countries owning Leopard tanks need permission from the manufacturing country Germany to sell them to third countries. Berlin approved the export of Leopard tanks by other states.

source site-34