The tanks are “in an absolutely deplorable state,” the Spanish defense minister said
Spain cannot send its Leopard 2A4 tanks to Ukraine because they have not been used for years and might be dangerous for operators, Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles told reporters on Tuesday.
Robles previously said in June that the possibility of sending the tanks “was on the table” after the Spanish newspaper El País reported that Spanish officials were considering sending about 40 German-produced Leopard tanks housed at a facility in Zaragoza.
“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 because they are in an absolutely deplorable state,” Robles said on Tuesday at an air base in Torrejon de Ardoz, Madrid.
“We can’t give them away because they would be a risk to the people” operating them, she said.
The June report from El País noted that Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez offered the tanks to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a visit to Kiev. That plan was shelved, however, due to technical complications and the fact that it also required approval from Germany’s parliament.
Spain has been a military sponsor of Kiev since Russia’s military incursion began at the end of February. As noted during Sanchez’s visit to Kiev in April, Spain has supported Ukraine diplomatically, voted in favor of EU sanctions on Moscow and sent its largest shipment of military aid ever to Kiev.