Germany has signed a declaration of intent to provide main battle tanks to Slovakia in exchange for the latter’s provision of military aid to Ukraine.
According to the deal, Germany will deliver Leopard 2 tanks to Slovakia, including training, ammunition, and logistics.
In return, Slovakia will deliver fighting vehicles to Ukraine that forces there are familiar with, so they could be deployed immediately.
The exchange gives both countries an advantage in their current goals: to boost Ukrainian forces in their conflict with Russia and close the operational readiness gap in the Slovakian Army.
The tank swap deal, involving 15 Leopard 2 tanks in the A4 configuration, was signed by German Defence Ministry State Secretary Benedikt Zimmer and Slovak Defence Minister Jaroslav Nad on August 23.
Slovakia will deliver 30 tracked BVP-1 armored infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine, Reuters reported, quoting Nad at a meeting with Zimmer in Bratislava.
“In addition to our direct arms deliveries, the ring exchange has proven to be a sensible way to support Ukraine’s struggle for survival quickly and effectively. With the delivery of the Leopard package, Germany is true to its word,” explained Christine Lambrecht, Federal Minister of Defence of Germany.
In addition to supporting the Ukrainian government, Germany and Slovakia plan to intensify their armaments and armed forces cooperation.
Currently, Germany’s Bundeswehr air defence forces are stationed in Slovakia to reinforce the multinational battle group and work on NATO’s Integrated Air and Missile Defence System.
As part of the NATO eVA (Enhanced Vigilance Activity), a separate initiative involving the association of binational German-Dutch anti-aircraft missile task force, German infantry forces were also deployed to Slovakia.