“After months of debate, Chancellor [Olaf] Scholz decided to deliver tanks to Ukraine. The allies also seem to want to fall in line. Abrams tanks could come from the US”, reads the online edition of the German newspaper.

The EFE agency, citing Der Spiegel and the television channel NTV, adds that the German army will make tanks of the Leopard 2A6 model available and that the Scholz Government authorizes other countries to re-export units of the Leopard 2 purchased from Germany.

The Leopard 2 is a tank developed in the early 1970s, and different versions have served in the armed forces of Germany and other European countries, as well as non-European countries.

The Leopard 2A6 version differs from the previous ones (A1 to A4), due to its third generation armor, as explained on the Portuguese army website, and compared to the A5 version, it has a more modern piece, with greater range, which guarantees tactical advantage on the battlefield.

The information advanced by Der Spiegel will be confirmed on Wednesday by an announcement by the German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, according to the Bild newspaper.

Kiev requested several months ago to send the Leopard 2 to stop the advances of Russian troops, but in the German coalition government there seemed to be divergent positions on the matter, although the official argument was that any shipment had to be coordinated with the Western allies that supported it. the Ukraine.

The pressure on Germany to authorize the re-export of these German-made main battle tanks has increased in recent weeks and today, faced with a formal request from Poland, Berlin paved the way for this to happen.

At a press conference in Berlin with the NATO secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, also today the German Defense Minister, Boris Pistorius, had already encouraged the countries that intend to supply Leopard tanks to Ukraine to start training the Ukrainian soldiers who will operate.

Last week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that several European countries, including Portugal, are available to supply Western main battle tanks such as the Leopard 2.

Subsequently, after a meeting of the Contact Group for the Defense of Ukraine, which took place in Ramstein, Germany, the Ministry of National Defense indicated in a statement that Portugal would send another 14 M113 armored vehicles and eight large-capacity electrical generators to Ukraine. , bringing “to 532 tons the total amount of military equipment, lethal and non-lethal” supplied to the country.

With regard to the shipment of Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, the ministry indicated that, during the meeting in Ramstein, “Portugal participated in a meeting convened by Ukraine and Poland where the countries that possess these means were present”, during which the Minister of National Defense “reiterated 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 capability”.


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