After announcing to SIC Notícias that Portugal was going to send 2 Leopard tanks to Ukraine, the Foreign Minister has now come to correct that, indicating that nothing has been decided.
“For Portugal, we are ready to provide military training to maneuver these tanks. There is no decision to send tanks. [Leopard 2] From Portugal to Ukraine,” the minister said.
The Minister of Defense, in turn, came to confirm the military training of Ukrainian troops To maneuver the leopard 2. “We are consulting with our allies and partners on various ways to assess the situation and help. From maintenance to maneuverability. Training is warranted”, he underlined.
Earlier in the afternoon, Joao Gómez Gravinho said the deployment of the Leopard 2 super tanks to Ukraine is pending a build-up of Ukrainian troops. The minister also added logistical details such as the possibility of tanks being sent “through Spain, via railways”.
“Deployment of the Leopard depends on the training on the ground, that is, the Ukrainian forces need training, so it should take 2 to 3 months,” said Joao Gomez Cravinho, “commitment” in the first instance. It was considered that “Portugal is contributing to a strategic defeat for Russia”, guaranteed the head of diplomacy.
The reference given earlier by the Minister was followed by the approval expressed this morning by Germany, which has the right to be the manufacturer of these armored vehicles, for the initial shipment of these 14 armored vehicles.
According to a spokesman for the Berlin administration, Germany authorized the delivery of 2 Panther tanks to the Ukrainian army to fight the Russian invasion.
“This decision follows our well-known line of supporting Ukraine in the best possible way. We are acting in a very coordinated manner at the international level,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said, as quoted by his spokesman Steffen Hebstreit.
On Thursday, January 19, Zelensky, who asked for about 300 armored vehicles, had already expressed the desire of European countries to send these super-armored vehicles.
“They are motivated and support us, but they are waiting for the relevant document from those states that have the right to issue it,” said the President of Ukraine.
“Poland is ready, to tell you the truth, Finland, Portugal, Spain and other countries are ready to give us a limited number of tanks in service,” Zelensky added, noting only Germany’s approval, the producing country is now the holder of the rights to authorize this export.
At this time, it is unknown how much Leopard 2 Portugal can ship. The Portuguese Army has 37 of these tanks, but according to SIC Notícias, only 12 are fully operational. The same channel says that the remaining 25 armored vehicles were not used for technical reasons.
(News updated at 6:09 p.m.)