Having announced to SIC Notícias that Portugal would send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, the foreign minister now came to correct them, stating that nothing had been decided.
“Regarding Portugal, we have shown our willingness to provide military training to maneuver these tanks. There is no decision to send tanks [Leopard 2] From Portugal to Ukraine, “said the minister.
In turn, the Minister of Defense came to confirm the military training of the Ukrainian forces to maneuver the Leopard 2. “We are consulting with our partners and allies to assess the situation and the different ways to help. From maintenance to maneuverability. Training is guaranteed,” he confirmed.
At the beginning of the afternoon, Joao Gómez Cravinho said that sending Leopard 2 supertanks to Ukraine was pending formation of Ukrainian forces. The minister also added logistical details such as the possibility of sending the tanks via “Spain by rail”.
“The deployment of Leopard depends on training on the ground, that is, the Ukrainian forces need to train, and therefore, it should take two to three months,” said Joao Gomez Cravinho, first of all, adding that “the commitment was to assume that” Portugal “contributes In Russia’s strategic defeat, ”as the head of diplomacy assures.
The dispatch of Leopard tanks was confirmed by Portugal after obtaining express permission this morning from Germany, which holds the rights to these armored vehicles as a construction company, and which will send 14 of these armored vehicles, in the first phase.
Germany has allowed Leopard 2 tanks to be sent to the Ukrainian army to fight the Russian invasion and has accepted requests from other countries to the same effect, according to a spokesman for the executive branch in Berlin.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was quoted as saying by his spokesman, Steffen Hebbestreit, that “This decision follows our well-known line of supporting Ukraine in the best possible way. We are acting internationally in a very coordinated manner.”
On Thursday, January 19, Zelensky, who ordered about 300 armored vehicles, had already expressed the willingness of European countries to send these super armored vehicles.
“They are motivated and support us, but they are waiting for a similar document from those countries that have the right to grant it,” said the President of Ukraine.
“Poland is ready, and to be honest, Finland, Portugal, Spain and other countries are ready to provide us with a small number of tanks in service,” Zelensky added, adding that only the consent of Germany, the manufacturing country, was missing. And the rights holder that now authorized this shipment.
It is not yet known how many ships the Leopard 2 will ship to Portugal. The Portuguese Army has 37 of these tanks, but according to SIC Notícias, only 12 are fully operational. The same channel says that the remaining 25 armored vehicles were never used for technical reasons.
(News updated at 5:58 p.m.)
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