Germany Allows Ukraine ‘Preparatory’ Training on Leopard Tanks

(Bloomberg) -- Germany hasn’t made a decision to allow the sending of Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine, but will allow other countries to train Ukrainian soldiers on the vehicles.

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“Germany won’t stand in the way if other states act like us, especially with regard to the possible preparatory training on these tanks,” new defense minister, Boris Pistorius, said Friday after a meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group at the US airbase in Ramstein.

The step to allow training doesn’t “pre-conclude” any possible decision on provision of the German-made tanks, Pistorius said. “But we are preparing ourselves for every possible case.”

At the same time, he stressed that a request by some countries to send Leopards to Ukraine wasn’t discussed at the Ramstein meeting.

Pistorius, sworn in as defense minister on Thursday after his precedessor resigned, also ordered a full evaluation of the number of Leopard tanks in the German army.

A decision about possibly sending main battle tanks to Ukraine could come within the next few days, he added.

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