The Leopard 2E would be in a dilapidated state and it would take many months to get them ready.
The supposed offer of the Spanish Government to send 40 German-made Leopard 2E (Lepard 4A) main battle tanks to Ukraine to defend itself against Russian aggression is deflated. The German information portal ‘Business Insider’ reported this Wednesday that Spain could not supply the Ukrainian military with more than ten tanks of this type, according to sources in Madrid. In addition, he adds, it is doubtful that this shipment can be carried out, since the armored vehicles are in a state of total abandonment and it would take many months to get them ready again. Senior Spanish officials consulted by the German digital media acknowledged that the possibility of this shipment has not even been firmly decided by the Spanish Executive, which must still discuss and approve it.
This is the reason why the Government of the Federal Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, has not yet received a formal request from the Spanish Executive to authorize the shipment of these cars to Ukraine. Germany requires from those countries to which its arms industry provides material the signing of a final destination clause, by which the purchasing State undertakes not to resell these weapons to third nations without the express authorization of Berlin.
That clause is intended to prevent German weapons from being sent to countries that are immersed in a civil war, to dictatorships or from being delivered to child soldiers. ‘Business Insider’ also highlights that there has been an unofficial apology from Madrid to the Scholz government for the pressure he has been subjected to since the information emerged that Spain could send Leopard 2E tanks to Ukraine.
The announcement a few days ago of the presumed intentions of the Spanish Government put the German Executive in a commitment, since if it were made, it would be the first time that a NATO country would supply Ukraine with modern Western-made battle tanks, in this case the German Krauss Maffei Wegann. The news, published by a Spanish media, caused great irritation in Berlin, given the fact that the Madrid government seemed to act on its own and without consulting the Scholz executive on that offer.
Since the new Russian invasion of Ukraine began, the federal chancellor has been pressured by kyiv, but also by some NATO allies such as the Baltic republics, to provide heavy war material for the Ukrainian troops.
Possibility “on the table”
For her part, the Spanish Defense Minister, Margarita Robles, assured on Tuesday that sending battle tanks to Ukraine “is a possibility that is on the table.” In statements to Cadena Ser, she explained that the Leopard cars that would be the object of military aid are in a military base in Zaragoza and have not been in operation for “many years.” Apparently they would not have been moved since 1995, so “today it would not make sense to send them, because they are not in use” and they would have to undergo repairs.
“That some type of important repairs can be made, we would see,” said the Minister of Defense, adding that their repair could be studied, although they are long procedures. In any case, she assured the decision should be taken in a “coordinated” manner with other countries, in clear reference to Germany.
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