BERLIN — Germany will send at least one company of its own Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and allow other European nations to deliver theirs as well, multiple German news outlets reported Tuesday.
The company of Leopard 2A6 tanks will come from German military stocks, according to Der Spiegel magazine. NTV television and German newswire DPA also confirmed the report, citing government officials. A German government spokesperson declined to comment.
The apparent break in the deadlock over the tanks came after the Wall Street Journal reported that President Biden is considering sending U.S.-made Abrams tanks to Ukraine. Germany had previously said that a U.S. decision to send Abrams would help ease the way for it to send its own Leopard 2s, but later denied that there was any “linkage.”
“It’s now the matter that’s being discussed at the highest level,” a senior Ukrainian official said of the U.S.-European talks to work out a deal on Abrams and Leopards. The official, who said he had been briefed on the matter, declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the subject.“We have a positive feeling,” he said.
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Other countries have offered different tanks: The United States will send its Bradley Fighting Vehicles but not its M1 Abrams tanks, while Britain has promised 14 Challenger 2 models this month. But the Leopard 2’s speed and ease of use — as well as the fact that there are many of them already in Europe — have made them more attractive to Kyiv. Even older versions of the tank have modern optics, including thermal imaging, that allow them to operate day and night.
Natalia Abbakumova, Vanessa Guinan-Bank, Shane Harris, John Hudson, Isabelle Khurshudyan, Dan Lamothe and Amar Nadhir contributed to this report.
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