Germany found itself under intense and growing pressure Sunday as the government of Chancellor Olaf Scholz weighed whether to authorize the shipment of its coveted Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.
U.S., Ukrainian and European officials urged Berlin to act after a summit Friday at the American military base in Ramstein, Germany, failed to nail down an agreement.
Ukraine says it needs some 300 Western tanks to bolster its forces against dug-in Russian troops in the eastern and southern parts of the country in the 11-month-old war. Both sides are preparing for further offensives when the weather allows.
An intelligence assessment of the fighting over the weekend from the British Defense Ministry described an increasingly deadlocked struggle in Ukraine’s Donbas region, with new Russian overall commander Sergei Shoigu reorganizing forces and apparently settling in for a long, grinding war of attrition.
Germany has balked at supplying Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine or authorizing other European countries such as Poland to transfer their own Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, in part because of divisions within Mr. Scholz’s coalition government and in part for fear that the move would prove too provocative to the Kremlin. (Read more from “Pressure Grows on Germany to Authorize Tank Shipment to Break Ukraine War Stalemate” HERE)
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