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Polish PM urges Germany to 'take brave decisions' on tanks for Ukraine: BBC

24.01.2023 21:00
Germany should "not procrastinate" but "take brave decisions" to send its Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine and allow other NATO nations to do the same, Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has told the BBC.
Mateusz Morawiecki
Mateusz MorawieckiPAP/Radek Pietruszka

Speaking to the British public broadcaster on Tuesday, Morawiecki argued that Berlin had a "special responsibility" to support Kyiv because Germany built up "huge Russian funds" before the war by buying natural gas from Moscow.

Germany has been hesitant to send its own Leopard tanks to Ukraine or allow other countries to provide German-made tanks to Ukraine because it is worried that a sudden move could escalate the conflict with Russia, the BBC reported.

Poland's Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak said on Tuesday that "the Germans have already received our request for permission to transfer Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine."

Błaszczak appealed to Germany to "join the coalition of countries supporting Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks."

Morawiecki told the BBC that Poland would give Germany one or two weeks to make a decision, but would send its tanks whatever Berlin says.

"We will do this, no matter what the decision is going to be," Morawiecki said, as quoted on the bbc.com website. "But we want to go along the procedures which are requested of us," he added.

He also maintained that Germany should send some of its own Leopard 2 tanks, the BBC reported. He said Germany had 350 operational Leopard tanks and 200 in storage.

"Why keep them in storage?" he asked.

Morawiecki told the BBC: "Ukraine cannot afford to be left alone by the European Union. We have to collectively support Ukraine because this is a very serious matter that is going on there."

He also said that an urgent move from Germany was "so important" ahead of an anticipated new Russian offensive in Ukraine.

"This is why we have to talk to our German partners not to procrastinate, not to delay, but just to take brave decisions," Morawiecki said.

He added: "Germany played a key role in building up the huge Russian funds for this war by buying Russian gas, trading with Russia, big time. Now there is a special responsibility on Germany's shoulders."

Earlier on Tuesday, Morawiecki accused Germany of "delaying, dodging, acting in a way that is difficult to understand," the BBC noted.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that about 300 Leopard tanks would help his country defeat Russia, according to the BBC.


Source: PAPbbc.com