The Minister of Defense said this Wednesday that she expected a decision on the deployment of Leopard 2s from the Portuguese Army “in the next few days”, but assured that Portugal will help Kiev to develop its capacity in the area of ​​tanks.

“No doubt: Portugal will participate and help Ukraine to develop its capacity in this area of ​​the Leopard 2 tanks“, assured Helena Carreiras, during a visit to the Association for the Disabled of the Armed Forces of Castelo Branco.

As for sending the tanks to Ukraine, the Defense official said that Portugal is still assessing the availability and the impacts that the transfer of the Leopard 2 would have on the capabilities of the Portuguese Army.

I reaffirm that we are evaluating both our availability and the impacts it would also have on our capacities, but with all the attention and with the necessary prudence”, he declared. “We must not lose capabilities in this movement”, he stressed.

The objective is to simultaneously help Ukraine in conjunction with Western partners, but to prevent Portugal from losing capacity in terms of its defense, he added.

“We are doing that work and I hope that we can have a decision in the coming days“, he said.

Helena Carreiras said that Portugal received “a few days ago” a “formal request from Ukraine” for training in terms of tanks, and is currently also evaluating the modalities in which this will take place.

The Minister of Defense also reiterated Portugal’s willingness to help Ukraine to develop this capacity, recalling, incidentally, that the country did so from the beginning with the offer of training in the area of ​​these combat vehicles.

In a note issued last Friday, after the meeting of the Contact Group for the Defense of Ukraine, which met that day in person in Ramstein, Germany, Helena Carreiras had already mentioned “the offer of training in this type of combat vehicles” and expressed “the availability of the Portuguese Government to identify, in a coordinated manner with its partners, ways to support Ukraine with this capacity“.

On the same day, the head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces (CEMGFA), Admiral Silva Ribeiro, indicated that Portugal has 37 Leopard tanks, but refused to comment on how many could be sent to Ukraine.

“On the Leopard, we have 37”, said Silva Ribeiro at a joint press conference as part of the visit to Portugal of the president of the NATO Military Committee, Admiral Rob Bauer.

CEMGFA was also asked about how many of these vehicles could eventually be included in the aid package for Ukraine, but indicated that it was unable to comment on “this issue” and referred to the statement released by the Ministry of National Defense.


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