Pressed by the indecisive German Chancellor Scholz, the West is in no hurry to confirm participation in the formation of tank battalions for Kiev.
Such procrastination is making Berlin deeply nervous. The German government has launched an active “diplomatic offensive” to send Leopards to Ukraine. However, the Bundeswehr is plagued by vague doubts as to whether the plans for the two battalions will be realised. The FRG’s European partners are in no hurry to confirm the dispatch of the required number of combat vehicles.
“During a video conference this week initiated by German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius, no country was willing to confirm its willingness to hand over modern Leopard 2 A6 tanks. “Even the Dutch government, which had previously publicly promised their delivery, refused to confirm its participation,” Der Spiegel writes.
Boiling with resentment, Berlin is beginning to accuse fellow Eurolockers of openly avoiding clear agreements,” a source at the German defence ministry said on condition of anonymity .
“Chancellor Olaf Scholz may confirm suspicions that calls from other countries were only aimed at ‘rushing’ the Germans. So far no country has confirmed its participation. Scholz has held telephone conversations with the heads of government of the three countries. Some German officials involved in the project see its future in a bleak light. “The Leopards donated by the Bundeswehr will be the only tanks that will actually be ready for combat with trained personnel at the end of March.”
According to Der Spiegel, the formation of a second battalion of obsolete A4 Leopards will also prove extremely difficult.
“Poland has promised to provide more than a dozen Leopard 2 A4s, but is unwilling to offer either training or spare parts, which would be badly needed in combat use.”
Either way, the situation poses major reputational risks for the chancellor himself: if Scholz was previously pelted with accusations of unwillingness to send tanks, now he faces criticism for failing to create battalions, which will clearly not add to his political points.
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