Poland promised to transfer German Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine even without Berlin’s permission

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki was going to create a coalition of countries ready to supply tanks to Ukraine after Germany refused to do so. He called Berlin’s unwillingness to supply Leopard tanks to Kyiv “unacceptable” and promised to send 14 German-made combat vehicles to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, PAP reports.

Morawiecki made it clear that his government could do this without the consent of the German side. Currently, countries that own German tanks must obtain Berlin’s consent to transfer to a third party.

“Almost a year has passed since the beginning of the war. Innocent people die every day. Russian bombs throw cities into chaos. Civilian objects are destroyed, women and children are killed. Evidence of the war crimes of the Russian army can be seen on TV and YouTube. What else does Germany need to get the job done?” Morawiecki said. The Polish prime minister noted that the German government does not need to use 100% of its resources.

“30% is enough. Even 10% would already be progress. Above all, however, Berlin must not weaken or sabotage the actions of other countries,” he added.

Earlier this week The head of the Pentagon, Lloyd Austin, could not convince his German counterpart Boris Pistorius that Germany should be the first to supply tanks to Ukraine. At the same time, Pistorius promised that a solution with tanks would appear “very soon”, but Germany should not provide such assistance alone and is waiting for a coordinated position from the NATO countries.

“No one excludes that Leopard 2 tanks can be delivered or that consent [на передачу Украине немецких танков] may be given to other European partners,” he said in an interview with ZDF.

At the moment, according to Spiegel, Germany will be able to transfer 19 vehicles to Ukraine, which are used only for exercises. The publication received a list of all models of Leopard 2 tanks that Germany has. In total, the Bundeswehr has 312 Leopard 2 tanks, of which 99 were under repair in May 2022, and one has already been decommissioned. The troops had 53 units of Leopard 2A7V – the most modern model.

Spiegel’s sources pointed to models that the German army does not use for its intended purpose and can easily be transferred to Ukraine. According to the list, the Bundeswehr has 19 Leopard 2A5 models that are used to simulate enemy forces at the army’s combat training center.

According to Austin, Ukraine’s partners are running out of time to hand over modern weapons to Kyiv: in the spring, Russia will launch a new offensive.

At the meeting of the Contact Group on the Defense of Ukraine, new major commitments were announced for the supply of weapons to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Kyiv will receive $2.5 billion worth of Bradley combat vehicles, Stryker vehicles and other equipment from US stocks.


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