Poland asks Germany for permission to send tanks to Ukraine, but will do so “with or without Germany”

Berlin– Poland will ask the German government for permission to supply German-made Leopard main battle tanks to Ukraine, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Monday, apparently pushing his country toward fulfilling a long-standing desire of Ukraine’s political and military leaders. As the manufacturing country, Germany must give its consent to export Leopard tanks to third countries.

Ukrainian leaders, from President Volodymyr Zelensky to the leaders of CBS News They are interviewed in the frozen trenches along the front line in Russia’s war on the countryThey made it clear for weeks that they couldn’t hold back Vladimir Putin’s attack on Ukraine without more heavy weapons — and main battle tanks, along with More advanced air defense missile systemshas long been at the top of my wish list.

Ukraine and Russia war
A Leopard 2 tank is pictured during a demonstration event to the media by the German Bundeswehr in Münster near Hanover, Germany, September 28, 2011.

Michael Son / AP

At a meeting of the European Union, German Foreign Minister Analina Berbock dodged the question on Monday whether Germany would quickly agree to any formal request from Poland or other countries to supply the Leopards to Ukraine. But she made it clear why, in her view, a decision of her government was required.

“The whole country [Ukraine] It is under attack by the Russian regime, and it is clear that even 11 months after the start of Russia’s brutal war of aggression, Putin has not deviated from his murderous plan to destroy Ukraine. As an international community, we are doing everything we can to defend Ukraine, so that Ukraine wins – wins to live in peace and freedom again. Because if you lose this war, there will be no more Ukraine.

A day earlier, Berbock said on French television that Germany It will not prevent the export of Leopard tanks To Ukraine from the third world countries.

“At the moment, the question has not been asked, but if we are asked, we will not stand in the way,” she said after being asked what would happen, in theory, if Poland decided to supply Ukraine with Leopard tanks.

Defense Minister urges allies to increase aid to Ukraine


Burbock’s comments put him before the man in charge of the German government, Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and French President Emmanuel Macron, both of whom refused to make any firm commitments last week or over the weekend about whether Germany or France would supply key supplies. Battle tanks of Ukraine.

Prime Minister Morawiecki had earlier announced that Poland would supply the Tigers to Ukraine with or without Germany’s consent, if necessary.

“We will not stand by and watch Ukraine bleed to death,” he told the Palestinian Press Agency. “Ukraine and Europe will win this war – with or without Germany.”

He made it clear that if Germany continued to be slow to agree, Poland would form a “junior alliance” with other unspecified countries to begin supplying Leopard tanks to Ukraine. Hundreds of modern German tanks are scattered across Europe, and Morawiecki was likely alluding to other NATO member states, such as Finland, Latvia, and Estonia, which lie geographically closer to Russia than Germany and have lobbied hard for greater support for Ukraine.

Germany Western Balkans
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, right, welcomes Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki to the “Western Balkans” conference at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, in this November 3, 2022 file photo.

Michel Tantossi/AP

Echoing the Polish demand, Latvian President Egils Levits told a German radio station that “everything necessary must be done so that Ukraine can defend itself”.

He stressed the oft-repeated warning that supplying Ukraine with more heavy weapons was not only to ensure that country’s ability to defend itself, but to ensure the safety of the entire democratic Europe.

“If a country doesn’t come forward, of course that’s a problem,” Levits said, adding that he couldn’t understand Schultz’s apparent indecision.

Meanwhile, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said on Sunday evening that a careful coordination process with partner countries was under way, but that no firm decision had been taken in Berlin on when, or whether, the transfer of the Panthers to Ukraine would be formally approved.

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