Leopard tanks

Portugal’s three Leopard tanks in Germany heading to Ukraine

Tanks will be helping in Ukraine’s spring offensive by end March

The three Leopard 02 A6 tanks that Portugal is gifting Ukraine are already in Germany, ready to go into Ukrainian territory by the end of the month.

Portugal’s defence minister Helena Carreiras told journalists in Stockholm yesterday that the tanks are in ‘good operational order’ and will be accompanying 18 German tanks, also on their way to Ukraine.

Ms Carreiras was speaking before an informal meeting of European Union defence ministers, organised by the Swedish presidency of the Council of the EU.

The meeting was essentially about support for Ukraine.

“We will look again at the circumstances on the ground, and we will discuss how we can better and faster support Ukraine, namely with the issue of ammunition supplies,” she explained.

Ukrainian counterpart Oleksiï Reznikov used the occasion to ask for one million rounds of large-calibre ammunition, with a piecemeal distribution of “90,000 to 100,000 per month”.

According to Estonian defence minister, Hanno Pevkur, this amount of ammunition will cost around €4 billion.

“We are going to wait and see what is being thought and discussed”, Portugal’s defence minister stressed. “It involves our national industry as well, and we agree, as we have already said, with the principles of this type of support, namely the European Peace Facility, which is a fund available to support this type of joint procurement”.