US National Security Council spokesperson on Leopard tanks for Ukraine: We are not “twisting” Germanyʼs hands

Anna Kholodnova

White House spokesman for national security and defense John Kirby said that Germany is going through "its own process" on the issue of providing Leopard tanks to Ukraine.

He said this in a comment to "Voice of America".

"We donʼt twist their hands, we donʼt push and we donʼt persuade. We want countries to give what they can, when they can and where they can, and in the size and scale that suits them. And it is up to Germany to decide," Kirby said.

He added that Germany began to help Ukraine more and has been doing so since the beginning of the war, and called this country "one of the worldʼs leading financial donors to Ukraine in terms of financial aid." According to him, the Allies highly appreciate such a contribution.

"We believe that it is important that every nation that can support Ukraine in its defense should do so right now. One of the critical needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine this winter and probably in the spring will be armored vehicles. Because of the types of combat they are waging in Donbas, which may include tanks, but not necessarily, although the Ukrainians have a real need for additional tanks,” John Kirby said.

  • 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 would 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.
  • According to Business Insider, former German Defense Minister 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.