Spain will start training the Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU) to operate Leopard tanks in the next two weeks. This was announced on Tuesday, February 14, by Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles after participating in a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels.
“During this week or early next week, the Ukrainian military will arrive, who will be trained in Spain to use the Leopard on the one hand, as well as to maintain tanks,” Robles said on the air of the TV channel. 24 horas.
According to her, we are talking about Leopard 2A4 models that have not been used for a long time and need to be restored.
The minister also stated that in addition to this group of Ukrainian military, another group of Ukrainians will arrive in Spain on February 16 to “receive specialized training.”
A day earlier, on February 13, Nadine Kluger, a spokeswoman for the German Ministry of Defense, said that training for Ukrainian tank crews to operate the Leopard 2 had begun in Germany. Kluger added that the training would take place in an extremely short time.
At the same time, Austria refused to train Ukrainian soldiers to work with the country’s main battle tank Leopard 2. This was also announced on February 13 by Minister of Defense Claudia Tanner.
On January 25, the German government announced a decision to transfer Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. Germany is ready to form two tank battalions, and at the first stage, Berlin will send a company of 14 tanks.
Following the decision of the FRG, Finland, Portugal, the Netherlands and Norway announced plans to supply Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. 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.
Moscow has repeatedly condemned the supply of arms to Ukraine. Thus, the press secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov noted that Russia perceives the supply of Western tanks to Ukraine as the participation of NATO countries in the conflict against Russia.
Western countries have stepped up military and financial support for Kyiv against the backdrop of Russia’s special operation to protect Donbass. Moscow has repeatedly condemned the supply of arms to Ukraine. So, it was noted that the tanks will not help to carry out the offensive and will be destroyed.