Danes, Dutch to donate Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Denmark and the Netherlands announced Thursday that they plan to provide Ukraine with at least 14 refurbished German-made Leopard 2 battle tanks, to be supplied from early 2024.
Danish Foreign Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen called it “a significant donation” which came on top of a contribution by Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany, announced in February, to supply at least 100 older Leopard 1 A5 tanks.
In a joint statement, the Danish and Dutch defense ministers said the estimated cost of 165 million euros “to jointly acquire, refurbish and donate” will be equally divided between the two NATO members.
“In this way, we will jointly take part in the ‘Leopard 2 coalition’, supported by many partners and allies,” they said.
In January, Germany agreed to send 14 newer Leopard 2 A6 tanks from its military’s current stocks, and raised the number to 18 in February.
Acting Danish Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen stressed that the tanks were not Danish but are “bought in collaboration with the Netherlands.”
Denmark currently has Leopard 2 A7 tanks which are a “different and newer model than the one we are donating now,” Lund Poulsen added.
In a separate statement, Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren said that “having the Leopard 2 A4 main battle tank at its disposal will give Ukraine superiority on the battlefield, due to the tank’s major fire power, high level of protection and speed.
“Over the last few weeks, the Ukrainian armed forces have already demonstrated that they are able to master the skills needed to operate the tank in a short amount of time,” she added.
On Twitter, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba wrote that “We are deeply grateful for this contribution.”
This story has been corrected to show that Germany sent a total of 18 Leopard tanks, not 14.