EU country sending Soviet-made tanks to Ukraine – media
Slovakia is poised to supply Ukraine with Soviet-made tanks in exchange for receiving a batch of German panzers from Berlin, Business Insider reported on Tuesday.
According to the outlet’s government sources, Slovakia will send 30 T-72 tanks to Ukraine in an effort to help Kiev fight off Russia’s military offensive. Germany, in turn, will deliver 15 Leopard 2 tanks to Slovakia. The deal is set to be announced as soon as this week and the first batch of weaponry should arrive in the Eastern European country by the year’s end.
The exchange almost failed in June, with the Slovak Defense Ministry saying at the time that 15 panzers was too small of a replacement.
“Slovakia owns 30 T-72 tanks. Therefore, 15 Leopard main battle tanks cannot be a solution for us, since we need 30 main battle tanks for a tank battalion,” a spokeswoman for the ministry said at the time.
On Tuesday, the Slovak Defense Ministry announced that it would send Ukraine 30 infantry fighting BVP-1 vehicles while it would receive 15 Leopard 2-A4 tanks from Germany. According to the ministry, the deal also included ammunition, spare parts, and complex training. It is unclear whether the latest agreement is linked to the reported tank ring exchange.
Earlier, Slovakia donated an S-300 air defense system to Kiev, as well as Soviet-made helicopters and self-propelled howitzers, while also hinting that it may send Kiev MiG-29 fighter jets.
Germany has also stepped in to help Ukraine by supplying Kiev’s forces with thousands of portable anti-tank and anti-air missiles, tens of thousands of anti-tank mines, as well as millions of rounds of ammunition. Berlin also delivered a number of PzH 2000 howitzers, most of which, however, are now reportedly out of service.