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Germany to send Leopard tanks to Kyiv, allow others to do so -source

file photo: file photo: germany delivers its first leopard tanks to slovakia, in bratislava
FILE PHOTO: Germany delivers its first Leopard tanks to Slovakia as part of a deal after Slovakia donated fighting vehicles to Ukraine, in Bratislava, Slovakia, December 19, 2022. REUTERS/Radovan Stoklasa/File Photo/File Photo

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has decided to send Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine and allow other countries such as Poland to do so while the United States may supply Abrams tanks, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

A government spokesperson, the foreign ministry and the defence ministry declined to comment.

The decision concerns at least one company of Leopard 2 A6 tanks that will be provided out of Bundeswehr stocks, said Spiegel magazine, which first reported the news.

One company usually comprises 14 tanks.

Other allies, in Scandinavia for example, intend to go along with Germany in supplying their Leopard tanks to Kyiv, the magazine reported.

In the longer term, more tanks could be restored to be fit for use, according to the magazine.

U.S. officials told Reuters that Washington may soon drop its opposition to sending Abrams tanks to Ukraine, in a move designed to encourage Germany to follow.

The Pentagon declined to comment on any coming announcements on the Abrams. It also declined to comment on whether Germany might green light deliveries of the Leopards.

Defence “Secretary (Lloyd) Austin did have very productive conversations with his German counterpart when he was in Germany” for meetings last week, Brigadier General Patrick Ryder told a news conference.

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