January 29, 2023

BERLIN (dpa) – After weeks of hesitation and growing impatience among Germany’s allies, Chancellor Olaf Scholz was due to announce on Wednesday that his government would agree to the delivery of German-made main battle tanks to Ukraine.

The long-awaited decision came almost a year after US officials said a tentative agreement had been reached under which the United States would send M1 Abrams tanks to help Kyiv push back Russian forces holed up in the east beginning of war.

Scholz had insisted that any move to equip Ukraine with powerful Leopard 2 tanks had to be closely coordinated with Germany’s allies, most notably the United States. By getting Washington to use some of its own tanks, Berlin hopes to reduce the risk of a Russian backlash.

Members of Scholz’s three-party coalition government welcomed the news ahead of the official announcement, which is expected in a speech to parliament early this afternoon.

“The leopard is liberated!” said German MEP Katrin Göring-Eckardt, a senior Green Party MEP.

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