German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is apparently ready to deliver Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine but on one condition — if the US supplies Abrams-type main battle tanks. According to the German Süddeutsche Zeitung, he said this in a call with US President Joe Biden on Tuesday.
According to the paper, he did not commit, and it is unclear whether this could happen before Ukraine’s allies gather at the Ramstein military base Friday, when they are expected to ramp up pressure on Germany to allow the export of Leopards to Ukraine.
On 10 January, Scholz decided to sendaround 40 Marder infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine after the USA had promised to supply infantry fighting vehicles.
So far, however, the USA has not announced any main battle tank deliveries.
The manufacturing company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann has so far manufactured about 3600 Leopard 2 main battle tanks and delivered them to many countries.
The Leopards are seen as the best choice to supply Ukraine with a large-scale tank force.
The UK had pledged last week to send Challenger tanks to Ukraine in a move seen as creating pressure on Germany to send the Leopards.
Earlier today, the EU Parliament had called on Scholz to deliver the Leopards without delay.