The Czech Republic receives 15 Leopard 2A4s from Germany to replace the supply of Soviet-era tanks to Ukraine. In addition, talks about 50 more modern Leopard 2A7s are to be started for the coming years, announced Defense Minister Jana Cernochova. “Germany has long been our most important economic partner,” she says. “But not on defense and we want to change that.”

The German government confirmed the handover of 15 Leopard tanks as part of the ring exchange with Ukraine. Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht explains: “In the future, we will also work even more closely with our Czech allies on armaments and on the structural cooperation of our armed forces.”

As the Czech Defense Minister, Jana Cernochova, announced on Wednesday, spare parts and ammunition are also included.

The announced gift of tanks is a sign of recognition for the arms deliveries that the Czech Republic has made to Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion. According to media reports, these included Soviet-made T-72 tanks, BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles and Dana howitzers.

Czech soldiers are to be trained on tanks in Germany this year. The fact that the tank model is also used in Poland and Hungary speaks for the Leopard. The Czech Republic has committed itself within NATO to set up a heavy brigade by 2026.