John Kirby, US national security council coordinator for strategic communications, on Monday downplayed the notion that Germany’s indecision on providing advanced military tanks to Ukraine is dividing NATO.
“To say that this is dividing the alliance or somehow putting national security at risk in Ukraine because there’s a discussion over tanks is just way overblowing this thing,” the White House official told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.
Some Western allies continue to pressure Germany to authorize the delivery of its modern Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine.
No decisions have been made “one way or another,” Kirby told CNN.
German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said earlier on Monday that a decision would be taken “soon,” as EU Foreign Ministers meet in Brussels for talks on Monday.
Kirby affirmed that “NATO has never been more staunchly united than it has been over the last year with this war in Ukraine,” but acknowledged the alliance is “not going to ever agree on every single aspect of every decision”.
“What’s really important to remember is that these are national decisions, they’re sovereign decisions,” he said.
“I certainly can't speak for the Germans on what’s going into their calculus about the Leopard tanks. The Leopards are very good and there [are] a lot of them on the European continent, and certainly, they could be effective on the battlefield. But again, what Germany does, they’ve got to decide," Kirby added. “They have to work through this in a sovereign way.”