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Netherlands considering providing Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks

Nederlands Nieuws

Netherlands considering providing Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks


The Dutch Cabinet is prepared to consider supplying modern Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine. “The decision has not yet been made, but we certainly do not rule it out,” a spokesperson for Prime Minister Rutte told ANP.

The Netherlands doesn’t own any tanks but leases 18 Leopard 2 tanks from Germany. Earlier on Tuesday, Rutte told international media in Brussels that the Netherlands can buy those tanks and give them away if necessary. It would make sense to do this together with other countries. The Cabinet is prepared to consider it, according to the Dutch Prime Minister.

“I have a lot of understanding for the Ukrainian request,” Rutte said, according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Last week, Minister Wopke Hoekstra (Foreign Affairs) told parliament that there are “no taboos” for the Cabinet regarding supplying Ukraine with regular military equipment. He said this in response to parliamentary questions about sending Ukraine F-16 fighter jets.

According to the weekly Der Spiegel, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will give permission to Poland and other countries permission to supply Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. In addition to Poland, Finland and Portugal also want to provide these types of tanks to the government in Kyiv. Finland took over 100 Dutch Leopard 2 tanks in 2014.

The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of the Dutch parliament, is pleased with the German permission. “Finally, the green light from Germany for the delivery of Leopard tanks,” said Kati Piri (PvdA). Ruben Breukelmans (VVD) tweeted: “Germany is now making the right decision.” There is broad support in the Kamer for military aid to Ukraine.

The Netherlands is a frontrunner in supplying military equipment to Kyiv. Last week, the Cabinet announced it would send two Patriot rocket launchers and several missiles to Ukraine. That will happen in cooperation with Germany and the United States. Ukraine needs the anti-aircraft system to defend against Russian missile- and drone attacks.

The Cabinet already sent tanks to Ukraine indirectly. Working with the Americans and the Czechs, it financed the delivery of 90 modernized Russian T-72 tanks last year. They were reportedly originally destined for Morocco. The Hague and Washington each pushed 45 million euros into that.



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