Lesson of the Leopard tanks – how trust is lost as Germany dithers over aid to Ukraine

Olaf Scholz’s resistance to supplying badly needed tanks has revived questions about Germany’s relations with Russia and its place in a new European security architecture

Germany’s Leopard 2 tanks are state-of-the-art, deadly accurate platform, far easier to maintain and fitted with a 120mm gun, standard among Western militaries. PHOTO: NYTIMES
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Will he, or won’t he? For weeks, the United States and European governments were preoccupied with the question of whether German Chancellor Olaf Scholz could be persuaded to deliver some of his country’s tanks to help Ukraine defend itself against the Russian invasion.

Then, when defence officials from 50 of Ukraine’s allied states gathered at a US air force base on German soil at the end of last week to hear the verdict, they got a firm “nein” from Mr Scholz, followed by an unspecified “perhaps another time” promise.

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