BERLIN, January 19. /TASS/. German lawmakers did not support a proposal to vote on providing Ukraine with Leopard 2 main battle tanks, according to a statement posted on the parliament’s website on Thursday.
The initiative was put forward by the CDU/CSU opposition alliance. The ruling parliamentary coalition, which comprises the Social Democrats, Greens and the Free Democrats, voted to bring the issue before the parliamentary committee on external affairs at a later date. Other German parties represented in the parliament - The Left and Alternative for Germany - also did not support the proposal.
Even if the vote took place and the initiative was supported, the parliamentary ruling would only be advisory in nature. Decisions on providing military aid to foreign countries are made by the German government.
Germany’s Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper said on Wednesday, citing its own sources, that the country’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz had said in a phone call with US President Joe Biden that Berlin would agree to authorize Leopard-2 tank supplies to Kiev only if Washington sent Abrams tanks to Ukraine. According to the paper, the US leader did not unequivocally confirm Washington’s plans to provide the tanks to Kiev during the call.
Western defense ministers will gather at the US Ramstein Base in Germany on January 20 to discuss further assistance to Kiev, primarily, the handover of Leopard tanks. The Ukrainian delegation will be led by the country’s newly appointed Defense Minister Boris Pistorius.