Poland will ask Berlin for permission to deliver German-made tanks to
Poland will formally ask Berlin for permission to deliver German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Monday.
“We will ask for such permission,” Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said. said during a press conference, without specifying the exact moment of the official request.
The Polish leader’s announcement follows German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock’s remarks on Sunday that Germany would not oppose Poland if the country asked to send tanks to Ukraine.
“I understood how important these tanks are,” Baerbock said in an interview with French television. Baerbock’s statement offered a “glimmer of hope”, Morawiecki said.
However, if Germany denies the request, Poland will still seek to hand over the tanks as part of a “small coalition”, the prime minister said.
German Olaf Scholz is under increasing pressure to drag his feet when it comes to whether Berlin would be prepared to send its own Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, for example as part of a wider coalition with Poland and other countries like Finland and Denmark.
Pressed on this point at a press conference in Paris on Sunday, Scholz dodged the question, stressing on the contrary that Berlin had never stopped supporting Ukraine with arms deliveries and made its decisions in cooperation with its allies.
Scholz’s refusal to greenlight Leopard 2 deliveries led to harsh talk between him and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, according to the South German newspaperthat the German government refusesaying that “neither the tone nor the content” of the reports is true.
Ukraine has appealed to Germany and other Western countries to provide modern battle tanks to repel an expected Russian offensive in the spring.