Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Germany “will not stand in the way” if Poland sends Leopard tanks to Ukraine.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Germany was ready to allow Poland to send German-made Leopard tanks to Ukraine to help Kiev fight a Russian invasion if Warsaw made such a request.
“If we are questioned, then we will not stand in the way,” Baerbock told LCI television on Sunday after the Franco-German summit in Paris.
“We know the importance of these tanks and this is why we are discussing this issue with our partners. We need to make sure people’s lives are saved and Ukraine’s territory is liberated.”
The comments appear to signal that Berlin is ready to allow European countries to supply German-made tanks to Ukraine amid growing pressure from Kiev and other allies over such a move. . Under the German licensing agreement, countries could not send tanks without Berlin’s approval.
To date, no Western-designed main battle tanks have been delivered to Ukraine for defensive combat against the invading Russian forces.
Ukraine has repeatedly called on its Western allies to provide more and faster military aid to the war-torn country. “Every day of delay is the death of Ukrainians. Think faster,” Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said: on Saturday.
The criticism came after 50 countries met at the US Ramstein airbase in Germany and agreed to provide Kiev with billions of dollars worth of military equipment, including armored vehicles and ammunition. medicine.
But Germany’s decision to supply the much-requested Leopard 2 battle tank – considered one of the best performing models worldwide – did not materialize.
Despite intense pressure and criticism, Germany said it has not yet decided whether to allow other European countries to transfer German-made tanks to Ukraine.
Poland has announced it is ready to deliver 14 Leopard tanks to Kiev but Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Sunday said he was waiting for a “clear statement” from Berlin on whether Leopard-owning countries can deliver them to Ukraine. Ukraine or not.
He also described Germany’s refusal to send its tanks to Ukraine as “unacceptable”.
“Innocent people are dying every day,” he told the PAP news agency.
In a joint statement on Saturday, the foreign ministers of the three Baltic states – Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania – urged Germany to “deliver Leopard tanks to Ukraine now”.
Earlier on Sunday, Prime Minister Olaf Scholz said all decisions on arms transfers would be made in coordination with allies, including the United States.
Speaking on the occasion of the visit to Paris 60th anniversary Since signing the landmark treaty between France and Germany, Scholz said Berlin in the past has always acted “in close coordination with our friends and allies”.
French President Emmanuel Macron said he did not rule out sending Leclerc tanks – France’s main battle tanks – to Ukraine.
“As for Leclerc, I asked the Ministry of Research about it. Nothing is ruled out,” Macron said, but stressed that any attempt to mobilize hardware to help repel Russian aggression should be decided and coordinated “collectively” with allies, including Germany.