Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki signaled on Monday that he expects Germany to quickly grant its approval to send Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine.
(Bloomberg) — Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki signaled on Monday that he expects Germany to quickly grant its approval to send Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine.
NATO-member Poland intends to deliver a “company” of German-made Leopard 2 tanks as part of a coordinated effort among allies. Any decision would require approval from Berlin, which the Polish government has persistently criticized for being slow in backing Ukraine with heavy weaponry.
“We need to have consent” from Germany, Morawiecki told a news conference in Warsaw, before flying to Berlin for meetings with politicians there. “But I cannot imagine that this approval will not be given quickly.”
Germany is about to take a decision on transferring the tanks this week, as European allies assess how to help the government in Kyiv in the event fighting builds in the spring, according to two officials familiar with the government’s thinking.
“I call on the German government to act decisively by delivering all types of armaments to Ukraine,” Morawiecki later told an audience in Berlin. “Today, Ukrainians are fighting not only for their freedom, but also in defense of Europe.”
His comments come as Russia and Belarus are scheduled to hold two weeks of joint air force drills from Jan. 16 until Feb. 1. Morawiecki warned on Saturday that a new Russian offensive on Ukraine and its capital launched from neighboring Belarus is a “real risk,” echoing recent statements from Ukrainian officials.
(Updates with more comments from Morawiecki from 5th paragraph.)
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