There is no decision on the provision of Leopard and Abrams tanks to Ukraine – the US Defense Minister

Vitaly Sayenko19:51, 20.01.23

At the same time, the US Defense Minister noted that at the meetings of the international coalition supporting Ukraine, they are “pressing hard” to meet its needs for the supply of tanks.

The Secretary of Defense of the United States of America, Lloyd Austin, states that there is no decision to provide Ukraine with German Leopard main battle tanks, as well as American M1 Abrams tanks .

Austin said this at a briefing after the meeting of the Contact Group on Defense of Ukraine (the so-called “Ramstein-8”), which is held at an air base in Germany. “We are also pushing hard to meet Ukraine’s needs for tanks and other armored vehicles,” Austin said.

The US Defense Minister recalled that Great Britain announced a significant donation of Challenger 2 tanks , which will be the first Western-made tanks in service with Ukraine. Austin thanked the British allies for making this decision.

At the same time, Austin noted that everyone probably heard the words of German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius that the Germans “have not yet decided on the provision of Leopard tanks.”

At the same time, as the US Defense Minister said, attention is currently focused on providing Ukraine with the opportunities it needs for success right now.

“So we have a window of opportunity between now and spring … when they launch their operation, their counteroffensive. And that’s not a long time. We have to get the right capabilities together,” Austin said.

He noted that the tanks are being considered to strengthen Ukraine’s potential.

“For example, Poland continues to offer tanks and will provide tanks, and some other countries will offer some tank capabilities. I don’t have any announcements about M1 Abrams tanks, and you heard the German defense minister say they haven’t made a decision on the Leopard.” – emphasized Austin.

In addition, as Austin noted, the German defense minister also said today that there is no relationship between the possible supply of M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine and the supply of Leopard tanks. “I think he’s been very clear about that. So, that unlocking claim is not an issue,” Austin said.

Austin also drew attention to the fact that Sweden will provide Ukraine with CV90 infantry fighting vehicles and additional assistance, which includes the provision of Archer howitzers.

In addition, he called inspiring the decision on defense assistance to Ukraine from other allies and, in particular, Denmark’s decision to transfer to Ukraine an additional 19 Caesar howitzers, Latvia’s decision to transfer Stinger portable anti-aircraft missile systems, helicopters and other equipment, as well as Estonia’s decision to transfer additional caliber ammunition 155 mm.

(C)UNIAN 2023

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