MADRID, 21 Jan. (.) –
The Ukrainian Defense Minister, Oleksiy Reznikov, announced this Friday that the Ukrainian Army will receive training to handle Leopard tanks, although up to now the shipment of this type of armored vehicle to Ukraine has not been authorized.
“We have a breakthrough: it is an opportunity for countries that have Leopard tanks to start training missions, courses for our tank crews. We will start with this and then move on,” the Defense Minister said in an interview with Voice of America.
Reznikov has detailed that, despite the Contact Group for Ukraine, meeting at the German military base of Ramstein, has shown its refusal to approve the shipment of Leopard tanks to kyiv, it has allowed the training of Ukrainian soldiers with this type of tanks.
“I look at it with optimism. Because the first step has been taken: we will start training programs on Leopard 2,” Reznikov said, reporting that the training agreements have been made possible thanks to the initiatives of Poland and the United Kingdom.
In this regard, the Ukrainian Defense Minister has expressed the hope that Germany, “in a calm mode of conducting its own internal consultations”, will reach a favorable decision on the transfer of German-made Leopard tanks to Ukraine.
Previously, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said there is “no alternative” to supplying German-made Leopard tanks to the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the war against Russia.
In his usual evening speech, Zelensky has reacted to the refusal of the Contact Group for Ukraine, meeting at the German military base of Ramstein, to approve the shipment of Leopard battle tanks to kyiv.
“We will still have to fight for the supply of modern tanks, but every day we make it more evident that there is no other alternative than to make the decision on the tanks,” Zelensky stressed, according to the Ukrainian Presidency in a statement.
The Government of Germany has refused this Friday to unblock the supply of Leopard model battle tanks to Ukraine, alleging that there is no unanimous opinion on their deployment, although it has not closed to take the step in the future, diplomatic sources have confirmed to Europe Press.
The supply of battle tanks has focused international attention in recent days, as Berlin has in its power to authorize the re-export of tanks to Ukraine, as requested by Poland and the Baltic countries.