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Germany hands over Leopard tanks to Ukraine: Scholz

Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Monday that Germany had handed over promised Leopard tanks to Ukraine, providing Kiev with much-needed heavy weapons for Russia.

When asked to confirm news agency Der Spiegel’s report, Scholz said at a press conference in Rotterdam with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte: “Yes, we have delivered the Leopard tanks as announced.”

Berlin has reportedly handed over 18 advanced Leopards, the last of which left Germany last weekend and was handed over to Ukraine at the border.

About 40 Marder infantry fighting vehicles also arrived in Ukraine, Spiegel said, adding that Berlin had kept the delivery route secret for security reasons.

The German Defense Ministry declined to comment when contacted by AFP.

Ukrainian soldiers trained at a German military base in the 2A6, the most advanced of the Leopard models.

At the end of January, Berlin finally gave the green light to send one of the world’s most advanced tanks, the German-built Leopard, used by armies across Europe, to Ukraine.

Under German law, any country wishing to send tanks to another country must first obtain approval from Berlin.

The Scholz government initially said it was aiming with its allies to form two tank battalions for Kiev, with a total of about 60 tanks.

Since then, however, they’ve struggled to put the numbers together.

The German and Dutch cabinets held a special joint meeting on Monday at the huge mirrored depot of the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum in the port city of Rotterdam.

Scholz and Rutte said they had discussed military support for Ukraine and a “unique” military cooperation involving Germany and the Netherlands integrating some of their armed forces.

https://www.expatica.com/nl/general/germany-has-delivered-leopard-tanks-to-ukraine-scholz-562992/ Germany hands over Leopard tanks to Ukraine: Scholz

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