Spain to send six 2A4 Leopard tanks to Ukraine -defence minister

FILE PHOTO: Polish army soldiers atop their Leopard 2A4 tank after live firing exercise in Zagan

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain plans to send six German-made 2A4 Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine after they undergo repairs, Defence Minister Margarita Robles told lawmakers on Wednesday, adding that the number could increase over time.

"We are repairing right now six Leopard 2A4 vehicles ... with the possibility - if needed and if our allies request it - of increasing that number," she said in the lower house, adding the tanks would be ready by late March or early April.

Earlier this year, Kyiv secured pledges from Western supporters of modern battlefield tanks to help fend off Russia's invasion, as Moscow steps up its efforts to make incremental advances in eastern Ukraine.

Other NATO countries, including Germany, Poland and Portugal, have promised to send 48 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

(Reporting by Inti Landauro and Emma Pinedo; editing by David Latona and Mark Heinrich)