Germany Agree or Not, Poland Will Still Send Leopard Tanks to Ukraine

Germany Agree or Not, Poland Will Still Send Leopard Tanks to Ukraine
Germany Agree or Not, Poland Will Still Send Leopard Tanks to Ukraine

Warsaw - Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Monday (23/1/2023), his government would seek permission from Germany to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine. However, Poland plans to send the tank whether Berlin agrees or not.

Morawiecki, whose country neighbors Ukraine, said Warsaw would seek German permission to re-export the tanks to Ukraine. "Even if we don't get this agreement, we will still transfer our tanks along with others to Ukraine. Our condition now is to build at least a small coalition of countries," Morawiecki explained, as quoted by Reuters.

The Ukrainian government has repeatedly stated it wants German-made Leopard 2 tanks to break through Russian lines and retake territory this year. Pressure on Berlin - which must agree to the re-export of the Leopard - also came from a meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Brussels.

Latvia's foreign minister said there was "no good argument" why battle tanks could not be provided. This issue has dominated discussions recently among Western allies about how much and what kind of material assistance they should provide Ukraine ahead of the first anniversary of a Russian invasion.

Germany's foreign minister appeared to be holding the door open for approval of the shipment over the weekend, when he said Berlin would not stand in the way if Poland wanted to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine. Ukraine and Russia are both believed to be planning a spring offensive to break the stalemate in what has become a war of attrition in eastern and southern Ukraine. The current battle is centered on the eastern city of Bakhmut, where Russian mercenaries Wagner and Ukrainian troops are locked in battle.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is grappling with a corruption scandal that could dampen Western enthusiasm for his rule. A newspaper reported that the Ukrainian military allegedly secured exorbitant prices for food, and a deputy minister resigned after an investigation into allegations that he had taken bribes.

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