Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi (right) welcomes Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez in Kyiv, February 23, 2023.
Kyiv/Helsinki – Spain will deliver six tanks and a Leopard 2A4 to Ukraine and in what in the shortest possible time this number will increase to ten. The first machines will be sent after the completion of the training of Ukrainian soldiers. According to the RBK-Ukraine server, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said this during his visit to Kyiv today. Finland will deliver three tanks to Ukraine.
“Spain will provide six Leopard 2A4 tanks. In the coming weeks and months, we will increase this number to ten. We will provide this assistance as soon as possible,” Sánchez said after meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“In addition, we are already training Ukrainian soldiers on our leopards. The first part of the fighters is already in Spain and is undergoing this special training. Our goal is to coordinate the handover of the leopards with the completion of the training of Ukrainian soldiers,” added the Prime Minister of Spain.
In January, after pressure from allies, Germany promised to supply more modern Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and allowed other countries to hand over these German-made machines to Kiev. According to the EFE agency, the Spanish army has 347 Leopard tanks. About 110 of them are the older Leopard 2A4 version and 239 are the more modern 2E version.
Sánchez also said, according to the Interfax-Ukraine agency, that Spain will continue to provide medical care to Ukrainians who have suffered injuries as a result of war operations. He also offered that his country would train Ukrainian doctors.
Finland to supply Ukraine with three Leopard 2 tanks
Finland will supply Ukraine with three modern Leopard 2 tanks suitable for demining and provide training to Ukrainian soldiers in their use. This was announced today by Reuters, according to the Finnish Ministry of Defense.
Finland is one of the countries that have leopards in service and that has promised to provide some of them to Ukraine attacked by Russia. In January, after pressure from allies, Germany promised to supply Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine itself, and allowed other countries to transfer the German-made machines to Kiev. On Wednesday, Spain announced the provision of six of these tanks.
The three tanks that Finland is donating to Ukraine are based on the Type 2A4, which is equipped with machine guns and is designed to clear land mines before deploying main battle tanks, Finnish Defense Minister Mikko Savola said.
Finnish President Sauli Niinistö in January he announced that his country would join the European tank coalition and that Finland's contribution would be modest so as not to weaken Finland's own security. The Nordic country shares a roughly 1,300 kilometer long common border with Russia.
“Finland's share of tanks dedicated to Ukraine cannot be very significant. We have a long eastern border to defend and we are still not a member of NATO and cannot betray our own security,” said Minister Savola, according to Reuters. Finland has less than two hundred Leopard 2 tanks.
Savola said that for security reasons, Finland will not reveal when the tanks will be handed over to Ukraine. According to the Finnish Ministry of Defense, the value of the latest aid package to Ukraine, including leopards and relevant training, will amount to 160 million euros (almost 3.8 billion crowns).