Former German Defense Minister Christina Lambrecht has banned an inventory of Leopard tanks because of the risk of increasing allied pressure to supply Ukraine. On January 21, Business Insider writes about this, citing sources in the ministry.
“Just a week before her resignation, former Defense Minister Christina Lambrecht instructed officials not to inventory the tanks of the Bundeswehr Leopard 1 and Leopard 2. And this despite the fact that representatives of her department had previously proposed to count the vehicles in order to be able to provide information on the issue of possible deliveries,” the publication says.
According to the publication’s sources, in this way Lambrecht tried to divert Olaf Scholz’s suspicions of unwillingness to transfer equipment to Ukraine, since Germany’s count of combat-ready tanks “could be interpreted as a readiness to supply them.” Otherwise, the German chancellor “would have to make excuses” in connection with the upcoming meeting at the Ramstein base, where all participants expected to receive consent from the FRG to supply tanks to the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU), writes Business Insider.
The day before, a meeting of defense ministers of Western states was held at the American Ramstein air base in Germany. Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas claimed that following its results, the participants would announce the transfer of hundreds of Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.
However, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said that the meeting participants did not decide on the transfer of Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. He noted that the views of the allies regarding the supply of tanks differ, and assured that Germany was not the only one opposed to sending such military equipment.
On January 18, it turned out that Berlin was ready to provide Kyiv with Leopard 2 tanks, on the condition that Washington sent Abrams tanks to the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU). The FRG has always expressed its opposition to acting alone. The United States, in turn, insists that Germany not only allow other countries to transfer the Leopard 2, but also participate in the deliveries itself.
Meanwhile, on January 21, the chairman of the defense committee in the Bundestag, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, said that the Russian authorities should rejoice, since the transfer of German military equipment has not yet been decided in favor of Ukraine. The MP criticized German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for indecision. According to her, such a position creates the impression that Berlin is not ready to properly participate in the collective support of Kyiv.
Against the backdrop of a discussion about Western supplies, military expert Alexei Leonkov told Izvestia on January 20 about the complete destruction of stocks of Soviet equipment in Ukraine. According to him, since the beginning of the special operation, Kyiv has disposed of not only what was listed behind them, but also what the countries of Eastern Europe supplied.
Western countries have stepped up military and financial support for Ukraine against the backdrop of a Russian special operation to protect Donbass. The decision to hold it was made by Russian President Vladimir Putin against the background of the aggravation of the situation in the region as a result of shelling by Ukrainian forces.
For more up-to-date videos and details about the situation in Donbass, watch the Izvestia TV channel.