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Macron and Scholz shamed as North Macedonia gives Ukraine ‘more’ tanks | Science | News


The small Eastern European nation with a population of two million people has reportedly already sent eight tanks to Ukraine. Now, the country has pledged to send more, although its Ministry of Defence has not specified the number. The ministry said in a press release: “Bearing in mind this example and the necessities of the Ukrainian defence ministry, the Government has decided that a certain quantity of those (tank) capacities shall be donated to Ukraine, in keeping with its needs.”

The T-72 tanks reportedly belong to the so-called third generation of predominant battle tanks from the Seventies and 1980.

While the variety of tanks has not been specified, it has been reported that there are 31 vehicles of this kind in service with the military of North Macedonia

In keeping with Thomas Theiner, a former member of the Italian army: Macedonia is sending more tanks than France, Germany and Italy combined.”

While Germany has now pledged to send 16 BIBER bridge-layer tanks to Ukrainian forces, it marks a significant U-turn on German Chancellor Olf Sholz’s position.

But these will reportedly only “enable Ukrainian troops to cross waters or obstacles in combat”, because the tanks are equipped with a horizontal bridge laying system as an alternative of a turret.

As a substitute of sending tanks on to Ukraine, Mr Scholz had promised a tank-swap scheme.

Under the scheme, Mr Scholz pledged to exchange tanks sent to Ukraine by European allies with Germany’s own supplies.

But Berlin is finding it difficult to implement a lot of these deals, triggering a delay in tank deliveries to Ukraine.

That is despite Germany possessing two powerful tanks, the Leopard battle tank and the Marder.

And while pressure has been piled on Mr Scholz to send tanks to Ukraine directly, the Chancellor fears the move would provoke Russia and escalate the conflict.

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In April, the Czech Republic became the primary NATO country to produce Ukraine with tanks.

The German Government has also promised to send 15 Leopard 2 tanks to the Czech Republic in return, as a part of the tank-swap scheme. But to this point, this has not happened.

Ben Hodges, former commanding general of the U.S. Army in Europe said: “The tank shouldn’t be only a rental automobile. At any time when you’re talking about transferring any kind of mechanized or armoured vehicles, you’ve to also take into consideration spare parts, maintenance packages, training, fuel, ammunition … to make certain they will keep things running.”

Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, of the Bundestag defence committee, has urged Mr Scholz to drop his policy and begin sending tanks to Ukraine directly.

She said: “We’ve to be brave and say: ‘Guys, let’s drop it and deliver on to Ukraine.’”

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