‘Poland would request authorisation from Germany to send tanks to Ukraine’

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Warsaw- ‘Poland would request authorisation from Germany to send tanks to Ukraine’ Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that his government would request authorisation from Germany to send the Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

But he also said that Poland would send the tanks to Ukraine, even if authorisation was not granted, reports the BBC.

The Prime Minister’s remarks came a day after German Foreign Minister Anna Baerbock said on Sunday that she “would not stand in the way” of Poland if it were to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, adding that Warsaw was yet to ask for export permission.

“For the moment the question has not been asked, but if we were asked we would not stand in the way,” she told France’s LCI TV.

In response to her statement, Morawiecki said on Monday that “even if ultimately we did not get this consent, within the framework of a small coalition… we will still hand over our tanks, together with others, to Ukraine”.

Also on Monday, the Polish president’s foreign policy adviser, Marcin Przydacz, said he welcomed Baerbock’s announcement, but would prefer to hear Germany’s position confirmed by Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

“It turns out that through talks and diplomatic actions, Poland is able to change the German position,” Przydacz told Polish Radio.

Speaking to the BBC on the development, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that Germany had the power to “save the lives of many Ukrainian soldiers”.

He appealed to all countries willing to send Leopard 2 tanks to “immediately, officially request the German government to allow delivery of these tanks to Ukraine”.

“This is the move that will make the whole situation crystal clear and we will see where it takes Germany. This is something that needs to be done right away and everything will become obvious,” he told the BBC on Monday.

Kuleba later told Ukrainian national TV that he was “confident” Germany would supply the tanks eventually.

“We already received British Challenger. They said it would be impossible… Every time in the end we obtained the desired result. We will have it this time as well.”

Last week, Morawiecki had said that Poland was ready to provide 14 Leopard 2s for Ukraine.

Polish government official however opined that the 14 tanks will have a limited impact on Ukraine’s fighting capacity and that Warsaw would ultimately want Germany and other NATO allies to also send their own Leopards.

The Leopard 2 tanks were specifically designed to compete with the Russian T-90 tanks, which are being used in the ongoing invasion, the BBC reported.

There are believed to be more than 2,000 of them worldwide and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said about 300 of them would help ensure a Russian defeat.

Under current regulations, Germany must also sanction any re-export of its tanks by other countries, such as Poland.

–IANS
ksk/

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