Group of German experts supports Europe's transfer of battle tanks to Ukraine's Armed Forces

Group of German experts supports Europe's transfer of battle tanks to Ukraine's Armed Forces

The supply of battle tanks, in particular Leopards, to Ukraine would be an urgent need rather than an escalation, and such a German initiative would create trust and serve the security of Europe.

Three German political scientists from the European Council on International Relations - Gustav Gressel, Rafael Loss and Jana Puglierin – said this in an article in the German news outlet Zeit, Ukrinform reports.

"The territory gained by the Ukrainian Armed Forces over the past few days clearly shows that their defensive struggle is by no means hopeless, but for the liberation of other cities occupied by Russian troops, Western supplies of weapons remain absolutely necessary. They should also include main battle tanks," the article says.

From the beginning of the war, Western partners began supplying weapons to Ukraine and constantly adapted their support in accordance with war developments and the needs of Ukrainian defenders.

"It's time to take one more step in military support and equip Ukraine with Leopard 2 main battle tanks," experts said.

They recalled that apart from the Bundeswehr, 12 other European armies use tanks of this type. These are more than 2,000 tanks in various modifications. Not all of these tanks are immediately suitable for use in Ukraine, but in order to equip one Ukrainian tank brigade with combat-ready equipment, at least about 90 tanks should be found at first.

However, the authors note, since the Leopard 2 is still in production and in widespread use, a coordinated industrial replacement of existing stocks and joint repair of reserve equipment could free up more units than any other main battle tank. This "flexibility" is a unique advantage of the Leopard 2 and the reason for its success story as a "European" main battle tank.

"The federal government should seize the initiative and, together with European partners, create a consortium to support Ukraine. The more of the 13 user states join their efforts, the smaller will be a decrease in the combat readiness of their own armed forces," experts say.

They also draw attention to the fact that the EU's European Peace Facility, which already supports the sale of weapons to Ukraine worth EUR 2.5 billion, could reimburse the participating countries for the cost of the transferred tanks and thus finance the replacement of more modern ones in the armies of these states.

The article also notes that the arguments with which Western partners still refuse to supply tanks and combat vehicles to the Armed Forces of Ukraine are becoming less convincing. The successes of the last few days in the Kharkiv region prove that the Ukrainians can plan and carry out complex operations. In addition, Germany's initiative would compensate for the trust lost over the past few months and provide real "added value" for the security of Europe and the future of Ukraine, the article read.

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