The government of Spain has canceled a plan to send its German-made Leopard tanks to Ukraine to help the country defend against the ongoing Russian invasion.
During a visit to Kyiv earlier this year, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez offered to send at least 10 of the tanks to help repel Moscow’s advances in key Ukrainian regions.
However, the plan was put on hold recently due to the “complexity” of the process since German parliamentary approval was required.
Now, after conducting a technical review of the vehicles, Madrid has decided to cancel its planned donation to Kyiv.
Spanish Defence Minister Margarita Robles said the review found the Leopard tanks “close to useless” after being warehoused at the Casetas military base for several years.
She disclosed that the tanks are “in an absolutely deplorable state” and can only endanger the people operating them.
“We are today looking at all the possibilities, but I can already say that the Leopards in Zaragoza that have not been used for many years cannot be sent…” Robles told media reporters. “We can’t give them away because they would be a risk to the people.”
Support for Ukraine
Although Spain is not going through with the promised donation, its government has provided support for embattled Kyiv amid the war.
In March, Sanchez announced that the country would supply “offensive military hardware” to its ally, weeks after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared the launch of a “special military operation” in Ukraine.
Sanchez described the invasion as a “brutal attempt to stop the construction of a European space based on values radically opposed to the authoritarianism [Putin] represents.”
One month later, Sanchez said that Spain had shipped 200 tons of military equipment, including heavy transport vehicles and ammunition, to Ukraine.
“The ship carries 30 trucks, several special heavy transport vehicles, and 10 small vehicles loaded with the military material that will be transferred to Ukraine,” he explained.