Germany makes US demand following UK sending tanks to Ukraine

Berlin won't permit allies to transfer tanks built in Germany to Ukraine until Washington agrees to provide Abrams main battle tanks made in the US.

According to The Wall Street Journal, a senior German official said on Wednesday that Berlin will not permit allies to transfer tanks built in Germany to Kiev until Washington agrees to send tanks made in the US to Ukraine.

According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, NATO nations presently possess more than 2,000 Leopard combat tanks, which are thought to be among the most technologically advanced battle tanks in existence.

Earlier, a number of European nations declared their readiness to supply Ukraine with combat tanks produced in Germany, subject to Berlin’s approval.

The dispatch of heavy battle tanks to Kiev was first announced by the United Kingdom. 

According to British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, the Challenger 2 tanks and extra artillery systems will help the Ukrainian military “drive back the Russian troops.”

Germany has frequently cautioned against supplying Kiev with military gear because of the greater risk of sparking a direct conflict between NATO and Russia, according to WSJ.

Earlier yesterday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz declared that Berlin is “strategically interlocked” with its partners and allies over the choices regarding how to deliver help, which also includes tanks, to Ukraine.

The Ukraine Defense Contact Group, a gathering of delegates from 50 nations that support Ukraine, will meet on Friday at the American Ramstein Air Base in Germany to discuss a fresh round of military assistance for Ukraine, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The meeting will focus on whether it is okay to send Leopard tanks produced in Germany from other countries, according to diplomats from numerous NATO states.

Despite all of the public debate on deploying German tanks to Ukraine, Berlin officials claimed that no formal requests have been made thus far. 

They added that when formal requests do come in, the government will reply promptly, adding that the approval process may range from a few days to a few weeks.

READ MORE: NATO warns Germany’s refusal to sell Ukraine tanks is ‘untenable’ after UK move