WhatsApp Channel Join Now
Telegram Group Join Now

Poland: Leopard 2 tanks will be supplied to Ukraine even without official German permission; USA: Probably hear from Berlin soon

Profile photo: Army servicemen and Leopard 2 tanks of the Bundeswehr during an event in Münster, Germany. (23 January 2015)
Profile photo: Army servicemen and Leopard 2 tanks of the Bundeswehr during an event in Münster, Germany. (23 January 2015)

Poland is forging a multinational alliance ready to supply Ukraine with German-made Leopard 2 tanks, even if Germany does not officially approve the transfer of such tanks, the Polish prime minister said Monday (Jan. 23).

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told reporters that Poland would seek German approval, but that the importance of asking Berlin for consent was secondary.

“We have been putting pressure on the government in Berlin to agree to supply Leopard 2 tanks,” Morawiecki said.

Polish government spokesman Piotr Mueller later told state television that seeking Germany’s consent was “an important gesture that we will of course be doing in the coming days.”

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told French television station LCI on Sunday that if Poland asks for permission to send its Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, “we will not stand in the way.”

Prior to Baerbock’s statement, Germany had been silent on the issue of supplying its own Leopard 2 tanks or approving the transfer of these tanks from countries that had purchased them from Germany.

Ukraine has long wanted to get heavy tanks, using Western tanks that are more advanced than Ukraine’s existing tanks, to fight the Russian army.

Andriy Yermak, chief of staff for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, wrote on the Telegram platform on Monday that Ukraine needs not 10 to 20 tanks, “but hundreds” to achieve its goals.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Pesko said Monday that the debate among European countries over whether to supply tanks to Ukraine showed “growing tensions” within NATO. He also warned that countries that supply weapons to Ukraine “will be held accountable for this.”

MUST READ: ☞  The Burgeoning Sino-Russian Axis: Toward a New Cold War Divide?

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz did not say on Sunday whether Germany would agree to supply main battle tanks to Ukraine, but according to Reuters, he said the decision would be made in coordination with allies, including the United States.

Scholz’s spokesman reiterated Monday that the German government had “not ruled out” the possibility of transferring the tanks, but said: “No decision has been made.”

At the State Department, spokesman Ned Price was asked by reporters whether the United States supports the supply of Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and whether Germany approves it or not.

Price did not directly answer these questions. “We may hear more from our German allies in the coming hours, in the coming days,” he said.

French President Emmanuel Macron said he did not rule out the possibility of supplying Ukraine with Leclerc tanks. However, he cautioned that the supply of tanks must not jeopardize France’s security or lead to an escalation of the war between Ukraine and Russia.

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said in an interview with Sky News on Sunday that he would like to see the Ukrainian side get “gear like Leopard 2.”

On Monday, EU foreign ministers approved another military aid package for Ukraine in Brussels, worth 500 million euros. This new aid brings the total EU aid expenditure to Ukraine to 3.6 billion euros.

In terms of battlefield news, according to a senior US military official who briefed the media on Monday, the Russian and Ukrainian troops remained basically static on the front line. The official said that the uncalm battlefield is related to the counteroffensive of the Ukrainian army near the eastern city of Klimina and the Russian army’s attempt to capture the territory near the eastern city of Bakhmut.

MUST READ: ☞  Biden, I am willing to have a dialogue with Putin on ending the war in Ukraine

According to the official, Russia is sending troops to replace troops that have suffered heavy casualties, especially around Bakhmut.

In other developments Monday, Zelensky said in a nightly video address that the Ukrainian government is undergoing personnel changes. His comments came a day after anti-corruption police said they had detained a deputy infrastructure minister accused of accepting $400,000 in bribes during the importation of generators last September.

“There have been personnel decisions, some today, some tomorrow – this concerns officials at all levels of ministries and other central government structures, as well as oblasts and law enforcement,” Zelensky said.

Leave a Comment

WhatsApp Channel Join Now
Telegram Group Join Now