Britain urges Germany to permit supply of tanks to Ukraine

FILE PHOTO: Defence ministers of the Joint Expeditionary Force nations meeting, in Edinburgh

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain on Monday urged Germany to permit the supply of Leopard tanks to Ukraine, stressing that it could unlock support from other nations and Berlin would not be acting alone if it supplied its own tanks.

"It has been reported that obviously Poland is very keen to donate some Leopards, as is Finland," British Defence minister Ben Wallace told parliament.

"All of this currently relies on the German government's decisions - not only whether the Germans will supply their own Leopards, but whether or not they'll give permissions to others. I would urge my German colleagues to do that."

German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht resigned on Monday as her government came under rising pressure to let allies send Ukraine heavy tanks, at the start of what is likely to be a pivotal week for Western plans to further arm Kyiv.

Germany has resisted such a move so far, saying Western tanks should only be supplied to Ukraine if there is agreement among Kyiv's main allies, particularly the United States.

In response, Wallace said: "I know there have been concerns in the German political body that they don't want to go alone. Well, they're not alone."

He said the scale of support would be evident at a meeting of Ukraine's allies in Ramstein in Germany on Friday.

(Reporting by William James. Editing by Andrew MacAskill)