Germany wants to provide the Czech Republic with 15 Leopard 2 tanks from industrial stocks and thus compensate for deliveries of heavy weapons from the NATO partner to Ukraine. “Czech Republic is supplying heavy weapons, we are helping to close the gaps with Leopard tanks from German industrial stocks,” said Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) on Wednesday, according to the statement.

The levy as part of a so-called ring exchange is intended to ensure that there are no gaps in the Czech Republic’s ability to defend itself. The Bundeswehr is to take over the training of Czech soldiers.

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. “Germany has been our key economic partner for a long time – this has not been the case in the field of defense so far, and we want to change that,” said Cernochova.

The announced gift of tanks is a sign of recognition for the arms deliveries that the Czech Republic has made to Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion. According to media reports, these included Soviet-made T-72 tanks, BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles and Dana howitzers.