January 25, 2023 10:35 GMT
Germany's Scholz Speaks To Parliament, Announcement On Tanks Expected
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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is set to answer questions in the Bundestag from 1300CET (0700ET, 1200GMT) , with expectations that he will announce the provision of Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine as well as permission for allies to re-export their tanks to aid Kyiv. Following Scholz's question session with the plenum, there is a session called by the opposition directly addressing the issue of Leopard tanks to Ukraine at 1505CET (0905ET/1405GMT). If Scholz does not announce the provision of tanks in the first session, he may in the latter one. Link: https://www.bundestag.de/
- The German gov't has come under increasing pressure in recent weeks to send main battle tanks to Ukraine, with German-made Leopard 2's the most numerous main battle tank in use in Europe, meaning that relatively large numbers can be sent to Ukraine. Standard NATO calibre rounds are also able to be used in their cannons, making the provision of ammunition easier.
- This stands in contrast to the British-made Challenger 2 tanks. While one of the most advanced main battle tanks in the world, they require more specialised training and use specific artillery rounds in their cannons, making the provision of ammunition to Ukraine more difficult.
- The US in hinting at it offering the M1 Abrams to Ukraine on 24 Jan is seen to have pushed Germany into offering the Leopards. The Abrams, like the Challenger, would require more specialised training for Ukrainian troops. Moreover, getting the specific fuel used in Abrams to the front lines would prove nearly impossible, making their deployment a near non-starter.