Germany will not keep Poland from sending tanks to Ukraine

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Berlin would not stand in the way if Poland decides to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine. French President Emmanuel Macron did not rule out sending heavy tanks to Ukraine.

Germany would not stand in the way if Poland sent its German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Sunday in an interview with French television LCI.

Asked what would happen if Poland went ahead and sent its Leopard 2 tanks without German approval, Baerbock said: “For the moment the question has not been asked, but if we were asked we would not stand in the way.”

“We know how important these tanks are and this is why we are discussing this now with our partners,” the German foreign minister added. “We need to make sure people’s lives are saved and Ukraine’s territory liberated.”

Earlier Sunday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz reaffirmed that Berlin and Paris would support Ukraine in its fight against Russian occupation, and would not allow Europe to revert back to “hatred and national rivalries.”

“We will continue to provide Ukraine with all the support its needs for as long as necessary. Together, as Europeans, to defend our European peace project,” he said while on a visit to Paris to celebrate 60 years of the landmark Franco-German Elysee Treaty.

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said on Sunday that he expected a decision soon on the delivery of the tanks to Ukraine.

Pistorius told Germany’s ARD public television that Berlin would not make a hasty decision because there were many factors to consider, including consequences at home for the security of the German population.

Germany has been under considerable pressure both to deliver Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine and to allow other countries to send their German-made tanks to Ukrainian forces. But Berlin has been hesitant to send the highly advanced, Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine out of concern it could lead to a widening of the Russian war in Ukraine.

Poland has repeatedly slammed Berlin over its hesitant stance.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told the national Polish PAP news agency, “Germany’s attitude is unacceptable. It has been almost a year since the war began. Innocent people are dying every day.” 

“Russian bombs are wreaking havoc in Ukrainian cities. Civilian targets are being attacked, women and children are being murdered,” he added.


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