Ukraine will receive at least 100 Leopard 1 tanks from industrial stocks in the “coming months”, the defense ministries of Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark have announced.
The tanks, predecessors to the more advanced Leopard 2, which has also been promised to Kyiv, will be provided with the “necessary logistical support and training”, the ministries said in a joint statement.
The news came as German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius made a surprise visit to Kyiv, two weeks after Berlin agreed that German-made Leopards could be sent to Ukraine to counter Russian forces.
The newly announced deliveries came as part of the “new Leopard initiative” agreed between Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark in support of Ukraine.
The tank initiative will “complement efforts already made to assist Ukraine with Leopard 2 main battle tanks”, the three partner countries said, adding that Belgium had also shown “initial interest” in joining.
In total, Germany has given the green light to send 178 Leopard 1 A5 tanks to Ukraine from industrial stocks, the economy and defense ministries said in a statement.
The final number will “depend on the necessary repair work”, the ministries said.
Last month, Berlin already agreed to send Ukraine 14 Leopard 2 A6 units from its military stockpile and approved the re-export of the battle tanks to Ukraine by allies.
The decision came after weeks of tense negotiations between Western allies over the supply of tanks to Ukraine.
Poland has pledged 14 Leopard 2 A4 tanks, Canada will send 4, and Norway, Finland, Spain and Portugal have also indicated they will participate, but without specifying a specific number.
“The help from Germany came relatively quickly, now we are waiting for the agreement on the Leopard 2 A4” from the partner countries, Pistorius said in an interview with the Welt newspaper.