Canada will send four battle-ready tanks to Ukraine “in the coming weeks,” Defense Minister Anita Anand announced Thursday.
As CTV News previously reported, in addition to the first four Leopard 2 tanks, Canada plans to send more tanks at a later date. Anand, announcing the latest shipment of military aid to Ukraine, said Canada will also send “numbers” of Canadian soldiers to train Ukrainian soldiers in the skills they will need to operate the facility.
“These large-scale and well-preserved battleships give the military a tactical advantage on the battlefield, due to their excellent mobility, firepower and survivability,” Anand said. “These tanks will allow Ukraine to liberate even more of its territory and protect its people against the brutal attacks of Russia.”
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It comes after days of questions about whether Canada will join other allies have responded to Ukraine’s request for tanks.
On Wednesday, as pressure mounted, Germany and the United States announced that they would arrange to send more Leopard 2 tanks, the Associated Press reported. And, after Poland called on the German government to allow other countries, such as Canada, to buy these German military vehicles, Berlin gave permission for their export again.
Before Anand’s announcement, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki called on Canada to join them. Morawiecki said in an exclusive interview with CTV News Channel’s Power Play, “It is very important that the free world stands together in support of Ukraine. “Modern ships are very important, available very important in this battle in Ukraine. So I hope that Canada will also be generous with Canadian things for Ukraine. »
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The Canadian Army currently has German-made Leopard 82 main battle tanks, but they are in various states of service.
In response to questions this week about Canada’s willingness to send anyone to Ukraine, federal officials pointed to more than $1 billion in Canadian military aid to Ukraine since February 2022 and stated that in order to achieve peace, partners must continue to support Ukraine. Ukraine has asked its allies to provide military vehicles to help defend itself against Russia, which has been going on for almost a year now, although the call has raised concerns about an increase in the conflict.
The issue was discussed without a decision at a meeting with the Ukrainian contact security team at Ramstein Air Base in Germany last week, which Anand attended. Russia reacted to the news of the alliance of Western countries supplying these tanks to Ukraine by launching a new attack, according to the Associated Press.