Ukraine calls for “modern tanks”
Schmyhal is pushing for Leopard 2 delivery at Scholz
9/4/2022 9:43 p.m
In the meantime, Germany has also supplied Ukraine with heavy weapons and military equipment worth several hundred million euros. So far, however, the federal government does not want to give up modern battle tanks. However, this is exactly what the Ukrainian head of government is pushing for during his visit to Berlin – and making concrete proposals.
At a meeting in Berlin, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal made concrete proposals to Chancellor Olaf Scholz for the delivery of Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine. “We talked about the topic. We even suggested how Germany could supply Ukraine with these tanks,” Schmyhal told journalists after his talks with Scholz in the Berlin Chancellery. He could not disclose “all the agreements and all the details of the conversation”. “But we discussed all these questions about the tanks and other military systems for Ukraine absolutely constructively.” When asked if he was optimistic that the main battle tanks would eventually be delivered, he said, “I’m always optimistic.”
Schmyhal was received by Scholz with military honors in front of the Chancellery that afternoon. A joint press conference was canceled on Saturday by the German side due to scheduling reasons.
Even before his arrival in Berlin, Schmyhal had requested the delivery of Leopard 2 main battle tanks from the German government. “We need a change in the philosophy of arms deliveries. By that I mean: Modern battle tanks should also be delivered,” said Schmyhal. The Leopard 2s are “the modern tanks that Ukraine needs on the battlefield.”
The federal government has so far promised Ukraine weapons worth more than 700 million euros, most of which have already been delivered – including some heavy weapons: ten heavy artillery pieces of the Panzerhaubitze 2000 type, 15 anti-aircraft tanks, three multiple rocket launchers and three armored recovery vehicles. So far, Scholz has expressed skepticism about the delivery of battle tanks. No other NATO country has so far delivered Western-style main battle tanks to Ukraine. The Chancellor has always insisted that Germany will not go it alone.