Is Germany hesitant to provide Leopard 2 to Kyiv?

Published January 24th, 2023 - 10:30 GMT
Germany, Russia and Ukraine flags

ALBAWABA –  The Russian-Ukrainian crisis has taken another twist with Ukraine insisting on its demand to acquire modern German tanks, specifically the "Leopard 2," and Russia objecting to arming it war foe.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has repeatedly beseeched his Western allies, especially the European Union, to supply him with heavy weapons, amid remarkable reluctance from Germany, the country that manufactures Leopard tanks and is an old enemy of Russia.

Unknown reasons

Between Ukraine's insistence and Russia's denunciation, Germany is hesitant to accept or reject the request by Ukraine and members of NATO to supply Kyiv with "Leopard 2" tanks, for reasons that are still unclear until now.

Despite this, confusion is not expected to last long, especially since it will determine the fate of this complex crisis and may turn the scales.

Justified fear

Any German move may incite Russia and spark further discontent with Ukraine, which is desperately seeking to bolster its military capabilities. This may have taken Russia by surprise. Moscow has boosted its forces in various cities of Ukraine recently and slapped almost a full control over some of them.

In fact, it is possible that the reason for the hesitation is the fear of the German side that the presence of more heavy armor, including combat vehicles and tanks, will only result in more bloodshed, especially since Russia will not surrender easily.

Germany is confused, but its position seems clear

Despite the bewilderment, and according to what was reported by the German defense company, Rheinmetall, 139 Leopard tanks may be delivered to Ukraine, if necessary.

However, they will be dispatched in batches, some as early as in the coming months.
The announcement underscores that Germany does not refuse flat out to provide assistance to Ukraine, but it is waiting for the right time.

Poland insists to help Ukraine, Germany does not mind

Poland is achieving victory for Ukraine at the present time by insisting on providing the latter with tanks, although sending them requires Germany's approval. But it seems that Poland cares less about that.

Surprisingly, international news outlets circulated statements by German Foreign Minister Anna Birbock that her country will not stand in the way of Poland, if it wanted to dispatch German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

A Russian response that does not bode well

On the ground, and even before supplying Ukraine with the Leopards, Russian intelligence accused Ukraine on Monday of storing Western weapons and ammunition inside nuclear power plants in the country.

Smart diplomatic position from Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently stressed that his country is ready to mediate for a lasting peace between the two feuding nations. After intensive discussions that Erdogan held with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, during a summit held in Uzbekistan recently, the Turkish president had a positive impression that Putin seeks to end the war.

No relative calm observed since 11 months

Next month, marks the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began on Feb. 24. So far, no relative calm has been observed on the scene since 11 months, but rather a continuous escalation whose end remains unknown.

This most probably requires a peaceful intervention and support, not a military offensive, by the allies of both countries, especially since the presence of more weapons results in more civilian deaths on both sides.

Written by Razan Abdelhadi

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