Germany confirms delivery of 18 Leopard tanks to Ukraine


Germany has delivered 18 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and is still preparing to deliver more tanks, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz confirmed on Monday as he visited the Netherlands.

"Yes, we delivered Leopard tanks, as we announced," Scholz said in a news conference with his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte.

Together with Sweden and Portugal, a battle group of Leopard 2 A6 tanks had been promised and four more tanks than originally planned were delivered. Leopard 1 A5 tanks are also set to be delivered but are currently under repair in Germany.

The financing of the tank repairs is being provided by Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands. The goal is to provide the first 25 tanks by summer, about 80 by the end of the year, and at least 100 Leopard 1 A5s during 2024, according to the German Ministry of Defence.

Western states had been wrangling over the issue of tank deliveries to Ukraine for weeks before an agreement was reached at the end of January.

Chancellor Scholz had insisted that the USA also deliver Abrams main battle tanks if Germany sends Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. This is now set to happen in the autumn.

During Monday's news conference, the German leader announced that the German and Dutch governments hope to determine this summer whether it would be advantageous for both countries if Berlin purchased the German division of the Dutch electricity grid operator TenneT.

Scholz was speaking after regular consultations between the two governments on Monday.

"We first want to ensure that the positive synergy effects that have now arisen with the Netherlands, through the cooperation with the German TenneT are not lost, but rather strengthened," he said.