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Polish PM hopes for prompt German response on tanks for Ukraine

24.01.2023 18:00
The Polish prime minister has said he hopes Berlin will respond promptly to Warsaw’s request for permission to send Leopard tanks to war-torn Ukraine.
Mateusz Morawiecki.
Mateusz Morawiecki.PAP/Tomasz Gzell

Mateusz Morawiecki made the comment at a news conference on Tuesday, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.

Earlier in the day, Deputy Prime Minister Mariusz Błaszczak said in a tweet: "The Germans have already received our request for permission to transfer Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine."

'I hope the reply from Germany will come soon': PM

Asked when Berlin could be expected to respond, Morawiecki said: “I hope that this time the reply from Germany will come soon because the Germans are delaying, dodging, acting in a way that is difficult to understand.”    

He added: “Germany is Europe’s biggest economy and so it should make a huge contribution to the coalition of countries that are helping Ukraine.” 

Morawiecki told reporters: “We are expecting a prompt answer. Obviously we are already training Ukrainian soldiers in Poland. So are other countries, on their own territory.”

Poland to ask EU to refund costs of arms deliveries to Ukraine

The prime minister was also asked if the costs of donating Leopard tanks to Ukraine could be refunded by the EU.

In March last year, the European bloc set up the so-called European Peace Facility (EPF) for such purposes, Poland's PAP news agency reported.

After EU foreign ministers on Monday agreed to provide EUR 500 million in new military aid to Ukraine, the EPF is now worth EUR 3.6 billion, officials said.  

Morawiecki told the news conference: “Of course, we will also apply to the EU for a refund of the costs.”

He added: “It will be another test of the EU’s goodwill. The bloc should reimburse these costs for us. I hope it will happen.”  

Tanks for Ukraine 

Poland, Finland and other countries have offered to provide German-made Leopard tanks to help Ukraine fight the Russian invasion, officials have told reporters. 

However, because Ukraine is not a NATO member, these countries need approval from the German government to do so, news outlets have reported. 

During a meeting of Ukraine’s allies at Ramstein Air Base in Germany last Friday, Berlin avoided committing to the transfer of Leopards to Kyiv, according to officials. 

Poland’s Morawiecki said on Sunday that if Germany did not authorise Leopard 2 tank deliveries to Ukraine, Poland would build a "smaller coalition" of allies, without Germany, to supply Leopards to Kyiv, Polish state news agency PAP reported. 

Tuesday is day 335 of Russia’s war against Ukraine. 


Source: IAR, PAP, gazetaprawna.pl