Former German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht, before her resignation, banned the Bundeswehrʼs inventory of tanks in order to delay the governmentʼs response to the supply of Leopard tanks to Ukraine.
This is reported by Business Insider with reference to its sources.
According to the publication, Lambrecht gave such an instruction a week before her resignation. The Ministry was asked to make a count of heavy equipment in order to have information on the issue of possible deliveries.
In response, Lambrechtʼs office allegedly stated that if it became known that the Bundeswehr was counting its tanks, it would be interpreted as a readiness to transfer tanks to Ukraine and would cause undue pressure on Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
- On January 16, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht resigned. The chancellor approved her application. Lambrecht was criticized for insufficient aid to Ukraine at the beginning of the war and for his lack of experience in defense matters. Her successor in the post became the Minister of the Interior of Lower Saxony, Boris Pistorius.
- On January 20, the eighth meeting of the Contact Group on Defense of Ukraine was held at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany. German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said that the Western allies at the Ramstein-style meeting have not yet reached an agreement on providing Ukraine with Leopard 2 main battle tanks. According to him, Germany does not block this decision.
- At the same time, the Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Oleksiy Reznikov, announced that the Ukrainian military will already begin training to operate Leopard tanks. This means that as soon as a political decision on deliveries is made, the Ukrainian army will be able to use these tanks immediately.