The Czech Republic will receive 15 Leopard 2 A4 tanks from Germany in exchange for military equipment it sent Ukraine, its defence ministry said on Wednesday.
Prague will also start talks on the purchase of another 50 Leopard 2 A7+ tanks, ministry spokesman Jakub Fajnor said in a statement.
“The German side appreciates the extent to which the Czech Republic has helped Ukraine with gifts of military equipment”, he added.
Germany will provide the 15 tanks — most of them combat vehicles, but also including one salvage tank — for free and is due to send them over this year, along with spare parts and ammunition.
Made by Germany’s Krauss-Maffei Wegmann company, Leopard tanks are used by several NATO armies including those of Canada, Poland and Norway.
A NATO member since 1999, the Czech Republic has approved military aid to Ukraine worth 3.4 billion koruna (138 million euros, $145 million) since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, Fajnor told AFP.
Prague has not disclosed the exact equipment, though local media reports suggest it had sent Soviet-made T-72 tanks and other heavy technology to Ukraine.
Czech arms companies are also due to repair the Ukrainian military’s tanks and armoured vehicles, following a government decision last month.