The Czech Republic continues to supply heavy weapons to Ukraine. Prague fills up the gaps in its own stocks with tanks from Germany. While Berlin provides 15 older Leopard 2s, negotiations begin to buy dozens of new models.
In a ring exchange, Germany wants to deliver 15 Leopard 2 tanks to the Czech Republic - and thereby enable Czech weapons to be transferred to Ukraine. "Czech Republic is supplying heavy weapons, we are helping to close the gaps with Leopard tanks from German industrial stocks," said Federal Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht.
According to Czech Defense Minister Jana Cernochova, it is the older Leopard 2 A4 model. A corresponding contract will be signed in the course of the summer. Spare parts and ammunition are also included, it said. At the same time, negotiations about the possible purchase of up to 50 new tanks of the modern Leopard 2 A7 variant by the Czech Republic would begin.
The Czech cabinet had previously approved the procedure. According to information from the Federal Ministry of Defense, the Leopard tanks come from the stocks of the German defense industry. In addition to the tanks, ammunition and spare parts are also to be delivered to the Czech Republic. In addition, the Bundeswehr will support the training of Czech soldiers. The federal government will bear the costs. Leopard tanks made by German arms manufacturer Krauss-Maffei Wegmann are in the stocks of several NATO countries, including Canada, Poland and Norway. The Czech Republic has been a NATO member since 1999.
According to the Czech Defense Ministry, Prague has pledged the equivalent of 138 million euros in military aid to Ukraine since the start of the Russian war of aggression. The government does not specify exactly what weapons it is providing Ukraine with. According to Czech media reports, however, Soviet T-72 tanks and other heavy armaments have already been delivered to Ukraine. There were also BMP-1 armored personnel carriers and Dana howitzers.
In order to avoid gaps in the Czech Republic's ability to defend itself, Germany pledged in the exchange of rings "to adequately compensate for this levy," according to the ministry. It is a "significant" support. Chancellor Olaf Scholz had already announced the exchange of rings with the Czech Republic at the beginning of the month. Czech soldiers are to be trained on tanks in Germany this year. The fact that the tank model is also used in Poland and Hungary speaks for the Leopard. The Czech Republic has committed itself within NATO to set up a heavy brigade by 2026.