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Polish PM flies to Berlin to seek German approval for Leopard tank delivery to Ukraine

16.01.2023 11:30
The Polish prime minister flew to Berlin on Monday to lobby German politicians to approve Poland's planned transfer of German-made Leopard tanks to Ukraine, according to officials.
Mateusz Morawiecki.
Mateusz Morawiecki.PAP/Marcin Obara

Before departing for the German capital, Mateusz Morawiecki said he would “talk to German politicians of various persuasions about sending tanks to Ukraine.”

Morawiecki told reporters that US President Joe Biden had urged the transfer of tanks to help Ukraine defend itself against Russia's invasion. 

He added: “Hopefully our German partners will feel emboldened and at last will be able to send a substantial part of the necessary heavy equipment in the form of Leopard tanks to Ukraine. We are ready to do this.”

Morawiecki said that "for Poland to be able to re-export Leopard tanks to Ukraine, Germany, as the producer, must give its consent."  

He added: “I can’t imagine Germany not giving its consent as soon as possible.”

Morawiecki reflected that the war in Ukraine "is also a struggle security … for stability, for peace.”

“And that’s why it’s so important to stop procrastinating and provide real support, like Poland, America and Britain,” he said. 

Last Wednesday, Polish President Andrzej Duda promised Poland would send a company of German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. 

On Friday, a Polish presidential aide, Paweł Szrot, said that Denmark and Finland were also ready to transfer Leopard tanks to Ukraine as part of an international coalition, the PAP news agency reported. 

On Sunday, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed that his country would send 14 Challenger battle tanks to Ukraine. 

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Sunday that Ukraine could expect more deliveries of heavy weaponry from the West soon. 

“The recent pledges for heavy warfare equipment are important – and I expect more in the near future,” Stoltenberg told Germany’s Handelsblatt newspaper.

In recent days, the United States, France and Germany have said they will send lighter fighting vehicles to Ukraine, according to news outlets.

Monday is day 327 of Russia’s war against Ukraine.


Source: PAP, portalsamorzadowy.pl