Polish PM urges German bravery on Leopard 2 decision regarding tanks for Ukraine

The prime minister of Poland has urged Germany to show “bravery” and permit the export of 14 Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine.

According to Mateusz Morawiecki, Germany had a “particular duty” because it amassed “vast Russian riches” before the war by purchasing Russian gas.

The tanks are essential in Ukraine’s eyes for getting past Russian defenses and defeating a potential counteroffensive.

However, because Leopard 2s are produced in Germany, Berlin must authorize their export.

Germany has resisted sending its own troops or allowing other countries to do the same.

One of its worries is that a swift action would intensify the situation with Russia.

Regardless of what Berlin responds, Mr. Morawiecki said he would give Germany one or two weeks to decide before sending its tanks.

Whatever the outcome, he declared, “We will carry out this.” But we wish to follow the instructions that have been given to us.

Additionally, he insisted that Germany should provide some of its own Leopard 2 tanks, noting that they had 350 Leopard tanks in service and 200 more in storage.

He questioned, “Why keep them in storage?”

According to President Zelensky, 300 Leopard tanks would be necessary to overcome Russia.

The request to export 14 tanks made in Germany was received on Tuesday, the German ministry informed the BBC.

The Russian T-90 tanks that are being utilized in the invasion were targeted for competition by the Leopard 2 tanks.

Mr. Morawiecki stated that a swift departure from Germany was “extremely vital” in an interview with the BBC.

This is why, he continued, “we have to talk to our German colleagues, not to postpone, not to procrastinate, but merely to take brave decisions.”

“By purchasing Russian gas and engaging in extensive trade with Russia, Germany was instrumental in helping Russia amass the enormous sums needed for this war. Germany is now under a very heavy burden, “Added he.

Germany, he claimed earlier, was operating “in a way that is difficult to understand,” delaying, ducking, and avoiding.

According to Mr. Morawiecki, Poland was “just about to dispatch” 50–60 additional tanks to Ukraine.

He didn’t specify the kind of tank, although it was certainly one from the Soviet era. Ukraine has previously received roughly 250 T-72 tanks from the Soviet era from Poland.

German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius stated on Tuesday that Berlin has given allies the go-ahead to train Ukrainians to operate Leopard 2 tanks, but Berlin had not committed to sending its own.

A choice would soon be made, according to Mr. Pistorius, about the delivery of the tanks. Any decision would also be made at a political level, the chief of staff of the military emphasized.

At a press conference with Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Mr. Pistorius added, “We are urging our partners to start training Ukrainian military on these Leopard vehicles, if they wish to, and if they have the opportunity.”

In recent days, the perceived German slowness to provide the armored vehicles has angered the allied nations.

However, the BBC was told by Miguel Berger, the German ambassador to the UK, that decisions would “not be dictated by the news cycle.”

According to him, dispatching Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine “would put pressure and create further friction on the relationship between Germany and Russia.”

It’s crucial that Chancellor Scholz take the time to consider the decision’s strategic ramifications before consulting with partners.

Mariusz Blaszczak, the defense minister of Poland, said in a statement on Tuesday that he was pleading with Germany to “join the coalition of countries assisting Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks.”

The security of all of Europe is at risk, thus this is our shared cause, he continued.

Nevertheless, Mr. Pistorius defended German Chancellor Olaf Scholz from accusations that he was moving slowly.

Taking the initiative does not entail charging ahead aimlessly, he continued. “And that’s just how it is if the decision takes another day or two.”

While France is considering sending some of its Leclerc combat tanks, the UK has committed to sending 14 Challenger tanks.

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