Poland asks for German permission to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine


Poland has formally requested Germany for permission to switch a few of its German-made automobiles Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, his protection minister mentioned on Tuesday, rising stress on Berlin to answer Kiev’s pleas and ship its personal automobile load onto the battlefield.

“The Germans have already acquired our request for approval for the switch of Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine,” Mariusz Blaszczak mentioned on Twitter. “I additionally enchantment to the German aspect to affix the coalition of nations supporting Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks. That is our frequent trigger, as a result of it’s in regards to the safety of all of Europe!”

The federal authorities didn’t instantly reply to CNN’s request for remark.

Germany has thus far resisted calls from Poland, the US and a handful of different NATO international locations to maneuver the tanks to Ukraine or enable different international locations to ship a few of their Leopards to Kyiv.

That place has sparked a week-long row between German and Polish leaders, with Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki accusing Germany of “losing time” by not reaching a call.

“We’re getting ready our determination and it’ll come very quickly,” German Protection Minister Boris Pistorius mentioned throughout a joint information convention with NATO Secretary Basic Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday, including that Germany would give you the chance to take action if the choice was to shut the tanks ship “Act very quickly.”

Poland, together with plenty of European international locations, has its personal batch of leopards that it needs to export once more. The rule requires Berlin to conform to such a transfer, however the German authorities has indicated it won’t stand in the best way of Poland sending Leopards throughout its japanese border into Ukraine.

Morawiecki mentioned on Monday a “situation” for Poland was the formation of a “small coalition” of states keen to ship foremost battle tanks to Ukraine. However Overseas Minister Zbigniew Rau later instructed journalists that Warsaw was “decided” to ship tanks, no matter different international locations’ selections.

The Leopard 2 is seen as an essential fashionable army automobile that may strengthen Kiev’s armed forces because the warfare with Russia nears the one-year mark.

In whole there are round 2,000 Leopard 2 tanks throughout Europe with completely different ranges of readiness.

Every tank incorporates a 120mm smoothbore gun and a 7.62mm machine gun; It might attain speeds of 70 km/h or 50 km/h off-road, making maneuverability one in every of its foremost traits. And there’s all-round safety in opposition to threats, together with improvised explosive gadgets, mines or anti-tank hearth, in accordance with German producer Krauss-Maffei Wegmann.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has repeatedly urged international locations to finish the dispute over sending the tanks.

“We have now spoken lots of of occasions in regards to the lack of weapons. We won’t simply depend on motivation,” he mentioned throughout a digital look on the World Financial Discussion board assembly in Davos final week.

In an obvious dig at Germany’s delay, Zelensky added: “There are moments when there isn’t any motive to hesitate. When folks say – I am going to provide you with tanks if another person will.”

Russia, in the meantime, has tried to threaten Germany whereas it ponders. Requested throughout an everyday press convention after Moscow’s response whether or not Berlin would enable the tanks to be despatched in, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov mentioned relations between the 2 international locations have been “already at a reasonably low level,” including that there’s at the moment “none.” substantial dialogue with Germany or with different EU and NATO international locations.”

“In fact, such deliveries don’t bode properly for the way forward for relations. They’ll go away a right away mark,” Peskov mentioned.