Ukraine defence minister says forces will train on German tanks in Poland – VOA

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Defence ministers hold meeting on Ukraine crisis at Ramstein Air Base

(Reuters) – Ukrainian forces will train on Leopard-2 battle tanks in Poland, Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov was quoted as saying on Friday, even though allies failed to reach an agreement to supply the German-made vehicles to Kyiv.

Reznikov spoke to Ukrainian-language Voice of America after attending a meeting at Ramtsein Air Base, Germany, where Ukraine’s partners did not take a decision on handing over the tanks. Germany, which makes the Leopard tanks, would have to approve any transfer.

Reznikov described the training development as a breakthrough, attributing the success to efforts by Poland.

“We will start with this and then we will move further,” Voice of America quoted him as saying.

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Reznikov, echoing earlier comments by Ukrainian officials, said he hoped Germany will reach a decision on the tanks.

“I see this in an optimistic way,” he added. “Because the first step has been taken – we will start training missions on the Leopard-2.”

Earlier Reznikov had tweeted his gratitude to the German government and people for their military aid and hospitality.

Next to a photograph of himself with German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius, he wrote, “We had a frank discussion on Leopards 2. To be continued.”

(Reporting by David Ljunggren and Elaine Monaghan; Editing by Leslie Adler and Sandra Maler)