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Prague to get German tanks in exchange for Ukraine aid

The Czech Republic will receive 15 Leopard 2 A4 tanks from Germany in exchange for military equipment it sent Ukraine, its defence ministry said on Wednesday. Prague will also start talks on the purchase of another 50 Leopard 2 A7+ tanks, ministry spokesman Jakub Fajnor said in a statement. “The German side appreciates the extent to which the Czech Republic has helped Ukraine with gifts of military equipment”, he added. Germany will provide the 15 tanks — most of them combat vehicles, but also including one salvage tank — for free and is due to send them over this year, along with spare parts and ammunition. Made by Germany’s Krauss-Maffei Wegmann company, Leopard tanks are used by several NATO armies including those of Canada, Poland and Norway. A NATO member since 1999, the Czech Republic has approved military aid to Ukraine worth 3.4 billion koruna (138 million euros, $145 million) since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, Fajnor told AFP. Prague has not disclosed the exact equipment, though local media reports suggest it had sent Soviet-made T-72 tanks and other heavy technology to Ukraine. Czech arms companies are also due to repair the Ukrainian military’s tanks and armoured vehicles, following a government decision last month.

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