Tanks a lot, continued
Yesterday the Prime Minister spoke to the leaders of the United States, Germany, France and Italy and welcomed the decision by allies to send battle tanks to Ukraine - standing with our Ukrainian partners as they repel Putin’s illegal invasion.
- It is clear that Russia is now on the back foot in Ukraine, providing a window of opportunity for international partners to accelerate efforts to secure lasting peace in Europe.
- That is why yesterday the Prime Minister spoke to world leaders, welcoming the decision by the United States and Germany to follow our lead in sending battle tanks to Ukraine, and calling on allies to intensify their support in the coming weeks and months.
- Following Britain's decision to send a squadron's worth of Challenger II Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) to equip the Ukrainian army, with the USA's commitment to send 31 M1 Abrams MBTs, Germany's has now agreed both to send 14, another squadron's worth of their own Leopard II MBTs and give permission to other European nations such as Poland and Finland to send some of theirs.
- The Germans are suggesting that they will work with other European countries to send enough MBTs for a couple of battalions of Leopard II tanks, e.g. about ninety MBTs. With the British and US tanks, it looks like Ukraine will get enough modern western MBTs to equip an armoured brigade of three battalions.
- In the first instance this will probably have the battlefield effect of giving the Ukrainian army the ability to make rapid counter-attacks to offensives from the invading Russian forces: a counter attack from an armoured brigade should be able to ruin the whole day for an advancing Russian force.
- To make these tanks effective on the battlefield Western nations will have to help Ukraine put logistics support in place and train the Ukrainian troops: this is likely to take months rather than weeks, though hopefully not so many months that they won't be able to deploy these units in spring this year.
- This collective action will act as a catalyst to securing peace in Europe, helping to end Putin’s illegal war and prevent a further loss of innocent lives.