Germany has delivered promised Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Monday, providing Kyiv with much-needed heavy weaponry against Russia, France 24 reports.
The delivery of what Scholz said were "very modern" German-made battle tanks comes some two months after Berlin finally gave the green light for them to be sent.
Ukraine has appealed to its western allies to make good on their pledges of heavy arms to push back Russian forces, ahead of a possible spring counter-offensive by Kyiv.
"Yes, we delivered Leopard tanks as we announced," Scholz told a press conference with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in Rotterdam when asked to confirm a report in news outlet Spiegel.
"We're providing very modern (tanks) which we have now delivered."
The Spiegel report said Berlin had delivered 18 of the advanced Leopards, with the last of the tanks having left Germany at the end of last week, before being handed over to Ukraine at the border.
Germany's defence ministry later confirmed the 18 Leopard deliveries, along with two armoured "Buffel" tank recovery vehicles.
About 40 Marder infantry fighting vehicles have also arrived in Ukraine, it said.
"Our tanks have made it into the hands of our Ukrainian friends as promised and on time," German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said in a statement.
"I'm sure they can make a difference on the ground."
Berlin was keeping the route of the deliveries secret for security reasons, Spiegel said.