German defense concern Rheinmetall announced its readiness to send Leopard 1 tanks and Marder infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) to Ukraine, German newspaper Handelsblatt reports with reference to Rheinmetall's CEO Armin Papperger.
"The first Leopard 1 could be delivered in six weeks,” he said, adding that this would require the approval from the German government.
Rheinmetall can provide Kiev with up to 50 tanks. It goes about old military hardware that was previously operated by other armies, Papperger clarified. Experts of the enterprise are currently evaluating its condition. It may take the company up to three months to supply the tanks.
The German concern is also ready to send up to 60 Marder-type infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine, Armin Papperger said, adding that some of them could be sent within six weeks.
Germany's Bild publication earlier reported that Ukraine intended to purchase 35 Marder infantry fighting vehicles from Rheinmetall.
Russian officials earlier warned that the Russian Armed Forces would work to destroy all foreign arms systems in Ukraine. They also said that EU's activities to apply arms to Ukraine was not going to contribute to the settlement of the ongoing crisis.
On April 11, the Russian Armed Forces have destroyed launchers of S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems that Ukraine received from Europe, Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said at a briefing.
"On Sunday, April 10, Caliber (Kalibr) high-precision sea-based missiles destroyed equipment of S-300 anti-aircraft missile battalion hidden in a hangar on the southern outskirts of the city of Dnepropetrovsk. The Kiev regime received the equipment from one of the European countries. Four S-300 launchers and up to 25 personnel of the Ukrainian Armed Forces were destroyed," major general said.
In addition, a guidance radar of the S-300 air defense system was destroyed in the area of the settlement of Uspenovka.
Last Friday, Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger announced that Bratislava shipped the S-300 air defense system to Kiev. Slovak Defence Minister Jaroslav Nagy said that the country was going to receive the fourth complex of the Patriot system from the United States.
Meanwhile, Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger refuted the information about the destruction of the S-300 system that Slovakia had shipped to Ukraine, RIA Novosti reports.
"I would like to point out that this is false information,” he said.
At the same time, however, Slovak Foreign Minister Ivan Korcok, said that he could neither confirm nor deny whether Russia destroyed the S-300 system that Slovakia had delivered to Ukraine.
"We have received this information, but I can not say anything at this point, we do not have either confirmed information or evidence for this,” the minister said.
The Ukrainian military, who left the territory of the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, declared their desire to negotiate