Talks about supplying Ukraine with weapons that could reach Russia are ‘extremely dangerous’, Kremlin says

The Polish Army drives a Leopard tank during a live-fire demonstration as part of the Bear 22 military exercises at the Nowa Deba training ground September 21 in Nowa Deba, Poland.
The Polish Army drives a Leopard tank during a live-fire demonstration as part of the Bear 22 military exercises at the Nowa Deba training ground September 21 in Nowa Deba, Poland. (Omar Marques/Getty Images)

Either Poland will receive permission to transfer German-made tanks to Ukraine “or we will do the right thing ourselves,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Thursday.

Any transfer of the Leopard 2 main battle tanks would generally require permission from Berlin as they are made in Germany.

Asked about Germany’s delay in authorizing the transfer, Morawiecki said Poland had offered 14 tanks to Ukraine.

“At the same time, we need to make sure that others will meet those needs as well. Of those others, those who have been the least proactive so far are the Germans,” he said in a video interview after returning from the International Economic Forum in Davos.

“We will continue to strive, we will continue to push the Chancellery and Germany to respond to our proposal as soon as possible.”

New Defense Minister: Morawiecki was also asked if he expected a change after Boris Pistorius, who has called for the easing of sanctions against Russia, took over as German defense minister.

“It worries me a lot. I don’t know much about the new German defense minister. What I know gives me some anxiety,” Morawiecki said.

But Pistorius should have “a few days of time” to see “what his first steps will be”, added Morawiecki.

We agreed to put the tanks back together,” he said. “Consent is secondary. Either we will get that consent or we will do the right thing ourselves.

“The most important thing is that the Germans, Danes, Finns, French and other nations offer their modern tanks and heavy equipment as soon as possible,” Morawiecki said. “The ability to defend freedom in Ukraine, and therefore the security of all of Europe, may depend on it.”

“Encourage and inspire others”: Poland has already sent 250 tanks to Ukraine, Morawiecki told CNN’s Richard Quest on Wednesday on the sidelines of the International Economic Forum.

“We were the first to come up with the Leopard tanks and we now encourage and inspire others, especially the Germans, to do their part,” he said.

“Now the Leopard tanks are the next step in our support for Ukraine. The crucial point is that the Germans will finally, finally give their share of heavy artillery, especially heavy and modern tanks,” Morawiecki said.

“And that’s the big question, because 14 out of 250 tanks is not a game-changer, but if France and especially Germany and some other countries gave 20-30 tanks each, it could make a difference for the Ukraine,” he added. he added.

A bit of context: Western allies are under increasing pressure to supply Ukraine with heavy battle tanks.

France, Poland and the United Kingdom have pledged to send tanks soon for the Ukrainian army to use in its efforts to protect itself from Russia. Finland plans to follow suit.

Germany has said it will transfer infantry fighting vehicles to Kyiv, but has not yet committed to sending tanks. Chancellor Olaf Scholz insisted that such a plan should be fully coordinated with the entire Western alliance, including the United States.

Western allies are due to meet at the US Ramstein Air Base in Germany tomorrow to discuss further military aid to Kyiv.

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