Spain starts restoration of Leopard tanks for Ukraine

Spain has begun restoring Leopard tanks for Ukraine and training their crews, Defense Minister Margarita Robles said. The overhaul of heavy equipment is planned to be completed soon, in addition, their number can be increased.

On February 22, Robles announced to lawmakers in the country’s lower house of parliament that Spain plans to send six German-made 2A4 Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine.

“Right now we are repairing six Leopard 2A4 machines … with the possibility – if necessary and if our allies ask for it – to increase this number,” she was quoted as saying. Reuters she, adding that the tanks would be ready by the end of March or the beginning of April.

The defense minister also said that since the start of the conflict, Spain has trained 800 Ukrainian troops, including basic training and training on specific weapon systems such as the Leopard tank.

Earlier this year, Kyiv secured promises from Western backers to supply modern battle tanks. NATO countries, including Germany, Poland and Portugal, have promised to send 48 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

On January 25, the German government announced a decision to transfer Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. The FRG then announced that they were ready to form two tank battalions, and at the first stage, Berlin would send a company of 14 tanks. At the same time, US President Joe Biden announced the supply of 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine. Britain will also supply tanks to Kyiv.

Following the decision of the FRG, plans to supply Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine were announced in Finland, Portugal, the Netherlands and Norway. But later, some of these countries reversed their decision. So, on February 15, it became known that the Netherlands and Denmark refused to participate in the coalition for the supply of Leopard tanks to Kyiv.

Moscow has repeatedly condemned the Western supply of weapons to Ukraine and the training of the Ukrainian military in the West, noting that this leads to an escalation of the conflict and makes the NATO countries a participant in them.

Western countries have increased the supply of weapons and money to Ukraine after Russia launched a special operation to protect Donbass on February 24, 2022. The decision to hold it was made by Putin against the backdrop of the aggravated situation in the region due to increased shelling by Ukrainian troops.

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