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Ukraine’s argument for wanting battle tanks is clear.

It insists they can make all the difference – helping to push Russia back from Ukrainian territory and handing Kyiv the initiative.

Germany produces the vast majority of modern heavy tanks in Europe – the Leopard 2s. Around 2,000 of them are spread out amongst European allies. And Germany owns all the export licenses for them.

This meant that while it dithered, others like Poland – desperate to deliver tanks to Ukraine as soon as possible – were prevented from doing so. They lacked the green re-export light from Berlin.

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