German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall have said they can deliver 139 Leopard main battle tanks to Ukraine.
A spokesperson for Rheinmetall said that 29 can be delivered as soon as May or even sooner in the month of April and a further 22 Leopard 2A4 tanks could be delivered by the end of the year or early in 2024.
The spokesperson said that they have the older Leopard 1 tanks and 88 could be sent to Kyiv, but no time frame has been provided as yet.
German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, said the Leopard 2 main battle tanks is “sort of like the [Volkswagen] Golf of the German tank industry: an all-rounder with world recognition.”
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said these tanks will “save the lives of many Ukrainian soldiers,” as they are well known for this mobility, armour and immense firepower.
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The Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov has warned Berlin against sending the tanks to Ukraine as this will “leave an inevitable imprint.”
Peskov said, “There is no substantial dialogue between the Russian Federation and Germany.
“The possible delivery of tanks to Kyiv does not bode well for future relations between the two countries.
“Relations are already at a low point.”
The Kremlin has also warned that Ukraine will “pay the price” if tanks are sent to Kyiv from the West and NATO along with further military aid.
On Monday the Kremlin upped their threats to Ukraine over military aid being sent to Kyiv and claimed there is a “nervousness” in Europe as leaders are split in sending the tanks.
Peskov said, “But of course all countries which take part, directly or indirectly, in pumping weapons into Ukraine and in raising its technological level bear responsibility [for continuing the conflict].
“The main thing is that it is the Ukrainian people who will pay the price for all this pseudo-support.”
He said that by sending tanks to Ukraine to fight against Russia, is an “upward spiral,” which will spark an escalation in the war.
Peskov added, “We have repeatedly said that such supplies will not fundamentally change anything but will add problems for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.”
“It really is developing in an upward spiral.
“We see a growing indirect and sometimes direct involvement of NATO countries in this conflict … We see a devotion to the dramatic delusion that Ukraine can succeed on the battlefield.
“This is a dramatic delusion of the western community that will more than once be cause for regret, we are sure of that.”
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