© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Leclerc XLR battle tank manufactured by Nexter is displayed at the Eurosatory international defense and security trade fair in Villepinte, near Paris, France June 13, 2022. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo
PARIS (Reuters) -German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, under pressure to allow the shipment of German-made tanks to Ukraine, said on Sunday all decisions on weapons deliveries would be made in coordination with allies including the United States.
Last week Germany and Western allies reached no decision on whether Germany would agree to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, or permit other countries that have them to do so, despite Ukraine’s pleas for modern tanks to boost its defence efforts.
Scholz, asked at a news conference in Paris about providing tanks to Ukraine, said all weapons deliveries to Ukraine so far had taken place in close coordination with Western partners. “We will do that in the future,” he said.
Speaking at the same news conference, French President Emmanuel Macron said he did not rule out the possibility of sending Leclerc tanks to Ukraine.
Macron said that sending tanks must not escalate the situation, must take into account the time to train Ukrainians to be effective, and must not endanger France’s own security.
“Regarding the Leclercs, I asked the Army minister to work on it, but nothing has been ruled out,” Macron said, adding that the move would have to be coordinated with allies such as Germany in the coming days and weeks.
German sources have told Reuters they would allow German-made tanks to be sent to Ukraine to help its defence against Russia if the United States agrees to send its own tanks. But U.S. officials have said President Joe Biden’s administration is not poised to send its own tanks, including the M1 Abrams.
Scholz was in Paris with top leaders of his government for a meeting with his French counterparts.