English Section

Poland, France urge Germany to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine: report

11.01.2023 14:30
The governments in Warsaw and Paris have been putting diplomatic pressure on Berlin to approve the re-export of German Leopard 2 battle tanks to help Ukraine fend off the Russian invasion, according to news outlets. 
The German-made Leopard 2 main battle tanks.
The German-made Leopard 2 main battle tanks.PAP/Darek Delmanowicz

Poland and France’s efforts may now be aided by Britain, which is considering sending its Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine, Poland’s bizneslert.pl website reported.    

Ukraine is hoping that such a move by the UK could persuade Germany to follow suit with its Leopard 2s, according to Britain’s The Guardian newspaper. 

With the stocks of Soviet-era tanks dwindling, there are growing calls for Ukraine’s allies to start sending modern Western weaponry to the war-torn country, biznesalert.pl reported on Tuesday.

Poland ready to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine

Poland has indicated it is ready to provide Ukraine with some of its German Leopard 2 battle tanks; it has more than 230 of them, according to biznesalert.pl. 

Jakub Kumoch, a top foreign-policy aide to Polish President Andrzej Duda, has said that “Poland could provide 10 Leopard 2s to Ukraine, initially for training purposes,” as cited by biznesalert.pl. 

Such a move would pile pressure on other countries to do the same, according to biznesalert.pl. 

German consent needed

However, it would require the consent of Germany as the original producer of Leopard 2 tanks, according to biznesalert.pl.

Meanwhile, the government in Berlin has so far resisted the move, citing various reasons, from reluctance to escalate the conflict to logistics issues and the equipment requirements of its own army, biznesalert.pl reported.

Western fighting vehicles for Ukraine

Western countries have already pledged a step-up in their military assistance to Ukraine this year. Last week, the United States and Germany said they would supply 50 Bradley and 40 Marder fighting vehicles respectively, according to news outlets.

That followed a pledge by France that it would send some 30 light AMX-10 RC armoured vehicles, in what appeared to be a coordinated series of announcements, The Guardian reported.

New Russian offensive in the spring?

These moves came after reports that Russia was carrying out a second, secret mobilisation of troops for Ukraine.

According to Ukraine’s intelligence service, the Kremlin seeks to mobilise a further 500,000 soldiers for a planned offensive on Kyiv in the spring, biznesalert.pl reported.   

Wednesday is day 322 of Russia’s war against Ukraine. 


Source: biznesalert.pl, The Guardian, politico.eu