Germany will decide “soon” on whether to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine or approve the export of German-made equipment by other countries, Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said, as pressure mounts on Europe’s largest economy. The German government has to sign off on any transfers of the tanks, around 2,000 of which are scattered across Europe.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Monday that Warsaw would formally submit such a request, after Berlin indicated it would not block the move. The Polish government had previously maintained that it would send the tanks with or without permission.
Kyiv has implored Western allies to send battle tanks to help boost its fighting capacity and retake territory Russia has captured in Ukraine’s south and east. Ukraine’s deputy foreign minister tweeted that the country has been asking Germany for Leopard tanks since early March. “Maybe it’s time to speed up this process?” Andrij Melnyk said. Britain recently became the first country to promise Western-produced main battle tanks to Ukraine.
In his nightly address on Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky did not mention Leopards, but he praised the United States for agreeing to send more fighting vehicles, including Bradleys, and said Ukraine was “looking closely” at U.S. M1 Abrams tanks. Washington has declined to send the MI Abrams tanks, despite the urging of some lawmakers, citing concerns over requisite training and maintenance.
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
4. From our correspondents
The world has been 100 seconds away from “midnight” — the symbolic hour of apocalypse — since 2020. Tuesday will be the first update since Russia’s war in Ukraine revived fears of a nuclear disaster in a year of fires and floods around the world.
Devlin Barrett, Spencer S. Hsu, Shayna Jacobs, Loveday Morris, Claire Parker and Emily Rauhala contributed to this report.