Norway to ship Leopard tanks to Ukraine ‘as quickly as attainable’

KONGSBERG: Norway will ship a part of its fleet of German-made Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine “as quickly as attainable”, indicating maybe late March, its defence minister mentioned Monday.

Norway was amongst a number of European international locations that promised final week to ship the tanks lengthy sought by Ukraine in its battle in opposition to Russian forces, after Berlin gave its blessing regardless of fears of retaliation by Moscow.

The nation has 36 Leopard 2 tanks, however has not mentioned what number of it’ll present to Kyiv.

“We’ve not but decided the quantity,” Defence Minister Bjorn Arild Gram advised AFP.

“It is vital that we coordinate intently with our companions, in order that this assist makes an actual distinction for Ukraine,” he mentioned.

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“After all we hope this can be achieved as rapidly as attainable,” he mentioned throughout a go to to a manufacturing website of the NASAMS anti-aircraft missile batteries in Kongsberg, southeast Norway.

German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius mentioned final week that Berlin was additionally aiming to ship 14 Leopards to Ukraine in late March or early April, after months of requests from Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Norway and different international locations which have bought Leopard tanks want Berlin’s approval in the event that they wish to switch them to a different nation.

America additionally mentioned final week that it could ship 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, which is gearing up for a counteroffensive to push again more and more entrenched Russians within the east and south of the nation.