Portugal to ship Leopard tanks to Ukraine, PM says

LISBON (Reuters) – Portugal will ship Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, Prime Minister Antonio Costa mentioned on Saturday, with out specifying what number of might be shipped.

Costa added that Portugal is in talks with Germany to acquire elements wanted for the restore of a lot of inoperable Leopard tanks in Portugal’s stock of the weapon.

“We’re at the moment working to have the ability to dispense a few of our tanks,” Costa informed Lusa information company throughout a visit to the Central African Republic. “I understand how many tanks might be (despatched to Ukraine) however that might be introduced on the acceptable time.”

Costa’s workplace didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Admiral António Silva Ribeiro, the pinnacle of the Portuguese armed forces, mentioned final month Portugal had 37 Leopard 2 tanks however it has been broadly reported by native media that almost all are inoperable.

Portugal is working with Germany to get the elements wanted to restore the tanks that aren’t operational, Costa mentioned, including he hoped to ship them to Ukraine by the top of March.

The defence ministry mentioned it might not touch upon the “operability of weapons and tools programs” for safety causes.

Ukraine’s Overseas Minister Dmytro Kuleba mentioned earlier this week the nation would obtain 120 to 140 Western tanks in a “first wave” of deliveries from a coalition of 12 nations.

Kyiv secured pledges from the West to produce most important battle tanks to assist fend off Russia’s full-scale invasion, with Moscow mounting enormous efforts to make incremental advances in japanese Ukraine.

(Reporting by Catarina Demony; Modifying by William Maclean)

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