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Polish, German defence ministers discuss tanks for Ukraine

08.02.2023 19:00
Poland’s defence minister has met with his German counterpart to discuss the delivery of Leopard main battle tanks to war-torn Ukraine, among other issues.
Polands Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak (right) and Germanys Defence Minister Boris Pistorius (left) meet in Warsaw on Wednesday, February 8, 2023.
Poland's Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak (right) and Germany's Defence Minister Boris Pistorius (left) meet in Warsaw on Wednesday, February 8, 2023.Twitter/Polish Ministry of Defence

Mariusz Błaszczak hosted Boris Pistorius in Warsaw on Wednesday, Polish state news agency PAP reported. 

Polish-German cooperation

Germany’s defence minister told reporters afterwards that the talks with Błaszczak had been “very honest and open,” focusing on possibilities for future cooperation. 

Pistorius stressed that he was visiting Warsaw merely two weeks into his tenure as Germany’s defence chief.

He stated: “My aim was to highlight in this way how important the relations with Poland are for us and how high an emphasis we place on them.” 

Pistorius added: “And I realise what a huge responsibility we have as partners. It’s about shared political and economic interests, but above all about securing the eastern flank of NATO. We share the same view on this issue and I’m pleased we have taken a further step in this dialogue.”

Support for Ukraine,  Leopard 2 tanks, allied unity

Pistorius added he and Błaszczak, who is also Poland’s deputy prime minister, discussed ways to orient Germany’s arms industry towards producing more weapons for Ukraine, the PAP news agency reported.

Germany’s defence minister revealed that he and Błaszczak would next week meet with Ukraine’s defence chief, Oleksii Reznikov, as well as with counterparts from other countries that had pledged to send some of their German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. 

Earlier in the day, Pistorius also met with Jacek Siewiera, who heads Polish President Andrzej Duda’s National Security Bureau.

Pistorius and Siewiera discussed arms deliveries to Ukraine, including the Leopard 2 tanks, allied unity in the face of the Russian aggression against Ukraine and bolstering the eastern flank of the NATO alliance at the summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, in the summer, according to officials. 

Tanks for Ukraine

Last month, Germany and the United States, as well as Poland, among other Western countries, announced they would provide modern tanks to help Ukraine fight the Russian invasion.

Germany agreed to allow partner countries to re-export German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. 

Berlin's approval came after weeks of diplomatic pressure on Germany, notably by Poland, to supply battle tanks to Ukraine and to allow partners to support Kyiv with some of their own German-made tanks. 

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in an interview with Canadian television that Poland would send an additional 60 battle tanks to Ukraine, on top of the 14 German-made Leopards it had already promised.

Ukraine's ambassador to Paris, Vadym Omelchenko, said on January 27 that Western countries had promised to send a total of 321 heavy tanks to Ukraine to help it battle Russia's invasion.

On Tuesday, Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands said they intended to supply Ukraine with at least 100 refurbished older, Leopard 1 battle tanks. 

Wednesday is day 350 of Russia’s war against Ukraine. 


Source: PAP, wpolityce.pl, wnp.pl