Foreign minister anna baerbock has said she “would not stand in the way” of poland if they were to send leopard 2 tanks to ukraine. poland’s prime minister mateusz morawiecki said the country was ready to provide 14 leopard 2 tanks to kyiv if berlin permitted them to do so. ukraine president volodymyr zelensky said about 300 of them would help ensure a russian defeat. estonia, latvia and lithuania told germany “to provide leopard tanks to ukraine now”. france has already committed to sending light tanks to ukraine, and uk will send 14 challenger 2s.
Events took place in april 2021, when ukraine called on the west to provide the german-made tanks, which they say will help them defeat russia. the leopard 2 tanks were specifically designed to compete with the russian t-90 tanks, which are being used in the invasion. germany must also sanction any re-export of its tanks by other countries, such as poland.
Had not yet committed to supplying the tanks nor releasing their export licence. the leopard 2 tank is a world-class weapon used by more than a dozen countries. ukraine sees tanks as another vital part of its defence against russian forces and leopards have seen combat action in afghanistan and syria. nearly two-thirds of all leopards produced are still in europe. germany is giving ukraine vital air defence systems, such as iris-t and patriot surface-to-air missiles, as well as armoured personnel carriers. french president emmanuel macron suggested it was possible that french-made leclerc heavy tanks may also be delivered to ukraine. german chancellor olaf scholz has traditionally been sceptical of german involvement in military conflicts, and concerned about triggering an escalation from russia.