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More than 40% of Germans against supplying Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine — poll

According to the survey, 47% of those polled supported such approval, 38% were against it and 16% refused to answer the question

BERLIN, January 19. /TASS/. More than 40% of German residents are against supplying German-made Leopard 2 battle tanks to Kiev, according to the results of a YouGov survey commissioned by the DPA news agency published on Thursday.

Some 2,025 people participated in the poll conducted from January 13 to 18. Roughly 43% of respondents were against the Leopard 2 deliveries while 39% supported such a decision. Another 16% of respondents refused to express their opinion on the matter.

On January 20, another meeting of Western defense ministers will be held at the US Ramstein Air Base in Germany where a discussion on further aid to Ukraine will take place. Germany will be represented by its new Defense Minister Boris Pistorius. Germany plays a key role in this issue since it produces the Leopard 2 tanks. The German government must approve any transfer of these tanks, which are available to 20 countries.

According to the survey, 47% of those polled supported such approval, 38% were against it and 16% refused to answer the question. Since the onset of Russia’s special operation in Ukraine, Germany has already supplied Kiev with arms and military equipment to the tune of more than €2.2 bln. Each third respondent (33%) thinks that this is too much, 24% think that this volume is sufficient. Another 25% of those surveyed call for increasing Germany’s military support for Ukraine.

On Wednesday, Suddeutsche Zeitung, citing its sources, reported that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was ready to allow the delivery of Leopard 2 tanks to Kiev if the US supplies Ukraine with Abrams tanks. According to the newspaper, this was the condition set forth by Scholz in a phone conversation with US President Joe Biden on Tuesday. The chancellor repeatedly stated that on the issue of military aid to Ukraine Germany wouldn’t act unilaterally. According to the newspaper, in his conversation with Scholz, Biden did not unequivocally consent to provide the Abrams tanks.

Over recent days, pressure on Berlin on the issue of handing over the German-made tanks to Kiev has significantly increased. On January 11, Polish President Andrzej Duda said that Warsaw had decided to provide a company (14 units) of Leopard tanks to Ukraine. Subsequently, several other countries, including Finland, indicated their readiness to supply Leopard tanks as well.