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Czech Republic intends to purchase 77 Leopard 2A8 tanks

Source: Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa), Defence Industry Europe

The Czech Republic plans to procure 77 Leopard main battle tanks in the modern 2A8 version from Germany, Czech Defence Minister Jana Černochová announced during a visit by her German counterpart Boris Pistorius to Prague on Friday.

This was a very good and a very important step, Pistorius stressed.

“We are very happy about it because it increases interoperability, the ability to work with each other,” he noted.

 

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An initial framework agreement has already been signed, he said, noting that other states could also join. The details are still being negotiated, he said.

“If more countries join, the sky is the limit,” Pistorius said.

 

 

 

 

The Czech Republic is considered a staunch supporter of Ukraine in its fight against the Russian invasion.

Commenting on current concerns in neighbouring Poland over the transfer of Russian Wagner mercenaries to Belarus, Pistorius said: “Where our Polish friends need support, if the worse comes to the worst, they will get it.”

The Czech Republic has already received the first of 14 Leopard tanks in the older 2A4 version from Germany, as part of an arrangement known as a circular swap in which Berlin does not send heavy equipment to Ukraine directly but instead replaces older equipment sent by allies.

The delivery also includes a Buffalo armoured recovery vehicle and is to be completed by early next year. The NATO member will thus receive modern replacements for Soviet-designed T72 tanks delivered to Ukraine.

 

 

Pistorius was the first German defence minister to visit the Prague memorial for the victims of terror during German occupation following the assassination of Nazi leader Reinhard Heydrich in 1942.

Černochová appeared touched as Pistorius laid flowers at the memorial site.

 

Source: dpa.

 

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