NATO highlights Germany’s leadership after unblocking tank shipment to Ukraine

Archive – NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addresses a press conference on the second and final day of the NATO 2022 Summit at the IFEMA Trade Fair Center MADRID, June 30, 2022, in Madrid, Spain. The NATO Summit – Eduardo Parra – Europa Press

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday applauded Germany’s leadership after unblocking the delivery of tanks to Ukraine, a supply he has made conditional on a process of consultations in recent days with allies to secure the joint shipment of battle tanks to Kiev.

In a message on social networks, Stoltenberg has given the «firm welcome» to the German «leadership» with the shipment of Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine «in consultations with other NATO allies and partners.» «At a critical time with the Russian war, this can help Ukraine defend itself, win and remain an independent nation,» the former Norwegian prime minister has assessed.

This Wednesday Berlin has confirmed that it will finally send the tanks demanded by Ukraine to reinforce the capacity of the Ukrainian Army against Russian troops in the Donbas region and that it will allow the re-export of these military systems as requested by Poland and the Baltics, which will facilitate an international coalition for the supply of tanks.

This step comes after days of speculation about the position Germany would take, after postponing its decision at the meeting of more than 40 allies at Ramstein air base last Friday, despite mounting international pressure. The move comes after several U.S. media reported that Washington is considering sending a significant number of M1 Abrams tanks as part of its contribution to the Ukrainian forces.

«This decision follows our well-known line of supporting Ukraine to the best of our ability,» German Chancellor Olaf Scholz assured during a government meeting where he also defended the need to coordinate in this area with other international partners.