Ukraine, Poland warns Germany about Leopard tanks: what we know so far

The Polish deputy foreign minister: “Berlin, by not agreeing to send tanks, finds itself internationally isolated”. Germany: “Not yet received authorization requests”

Germany will find itself internationally isolated if it does not agree to supply Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. This was stated by the Polish Deputy Foreign Minister, Arkadiusz Mularczyk.

Commenting on the words of Annalena Baerbock, head of diplomacy in Berlin, who yesterday announced Germany’s general go-ahead for the supply of tanks by third countries, Mularczyk attributed her statement to the pressure exerted on Germany by other Western countries.

It must be understood that Germany, by not agreeing to send tanks to Ukraine, finds itself internationally isolated. If they continue to remain faithful to this position, they will find themselves in a position of extreme weakness”, he added speaking on ‘Polskie Radio’. For Mularczyk “a great game is being played, which not only concerns the victory in Ukraine, but also the American influence in Europe. The Germans and the French understand this well.”

Poland will ask the German government for permission to supply Leopard tanks to Ukraine, the Polish premier announced, Mateusz Morawiecki, who spoke of the country’s initiatives to form a coalition to supply Ukraine with tanks, initiatives which – he said – are having an effect. Even if Germany is not part of this coalition, he added, Poland can supply the tanks as part of a smaller coalition.

As the producer country of the tanks, Germany has to give its approval for export to third countries. Berlin’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock clarified that Germany does not intend to block deliveries from other states. So far, however, no official request has been made, she explained yesterday.

And today the executive spokesman, Steffen Hebestreit, explained that the German government has not yet received any requests for authorization for supplies of Leopard 2 to Ukraine. “There are procedures for that,” she said, assuring that requests like that would be dealt with quickly and carefully.

Berlin does not confirm media reports of alleged US negative reactions to Germany for its hesitation over arms deliveries to Ukraine. Hebestreit said today that he could not confirm the alleged outrage of the US government either in the content or tone that was described. The talks with the United States, she added, have been continuous and constructive. A clear exchange of positions takes place there. Chancellor Olaf Scholz – he concluded, according to Bild reports – continues to support close coordination with Washington.

ZELENSKY – Providing Ukraine with dozens of Western tanks against the thousands Russia has doesn’t solve the problem, but it motivates the army. This was stated by Volodymyr Zelensky in an interview with the German TV channel Ard. “Since the Russian army, which has a thousand tanks, is against us – he explained – no country solves the problem by deciding to give 10, 20, 50 tanks. They do one very important thing: they motivate our soldiers to fight for your values. Because they show that the whole world is with us”.

KIEV: “WE ASKED FOR TANKS IN BERLIN ON MARCH 3” – The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kiev government, Andriy Melnyk, also intervenes today in the debate on the supply of tanks to Ukraine, to recall that the request for tanks had already been formally advanced on 3 March: Melnyk is the former Ukrainian ambassador in Germany and several times during his mandate as a diplomat accredited in Berlin he had criticized Germany for its positions on the conflict.

In what he calls “simply a polite reminder,” Melnyk points out in a Twitter post that “Ukraine officially asked Germany to secure its supply of Leopard 2 tanks on March 3, 2022, the seventh day after the start of the war.” of annihilation promoted by Russia against the statehood and the Ukrainian nation. Today we are on the 334th day of the barbaric Russian war. Maybe it’s time to speed up this process?”

As evidence of his words, the Deputy Foreign Minister publishes the image of a verbal note on the letterhead of the Ukrainian Embassy in Berlin dated March 3, 2022 and addressed to the Foreign Ministry, the Chancellery office and the Ministry of Defense in Berlin .

In the letter, after having denounced the invasion of the country on February 23, having described the weapons in the hands of the Russian side, the senders ask the German government for the military assistance necessary to be able to protect the lives of civilians. In first place on the list, underlined in red pen, the Kampfpanzer, the combat tanks.

BORRELL – On the supply of tanks to Ukraine there are “different opinions” among the Member States and “today we will talk about it”, declared the EU High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, upon his arrival at the EWC in Brussels. specifying that during last week’s meeting in Ramstein “good results were achieved in terms of the number of weapons that European countries intend to supply to Ukraine”.

GB MPs write to the German defense minister – Meanwhile, dozens of British MPs – including the presidents of 24 Municipal Commissions and dozens of ‘backbenchers’ – have appealed to German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, “in this moment of extreme urgency”, to consent to the use of Leopard 2 tanks by the Ukrainians. In a letter of which ‘The Sun’ has obtained a copy, the MPs – coordinated by Labour’s Chris Bryant – say they are “aware of the extremely significant efforts made by Germany to support Ukraine, particularly in the last 12 months” and say they understand “the historical reasons behind the reluctance to supply German and German-made tanks”.

“However – it reads – we strongly urge you in this moment of extreme urgency to reconsider your position and allow the German-owned and manufactured Leopard 2 combat tanks – to be supplied to Ukraine in the coming days”.

LATVIA – Also the President of Latvia, Egils Levits, urged German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to approve the delivery of Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. In an interview with Deutschlandfunk, Levits stated that “everything necessary must be done so that Ukraine is in a position to defend itself”. It is necessary for the security of the whole of Europe, he added, noting that his position “reflects an almost unanimous attitude of Europe”. “If a country doesn’t cooperate, it becomes a problem,” he later observed, saying he doesn’t understand why Scholz is taking into consideration German doubts about supplies. “Ukraine – he concluded – is under strong pressure and should not be denied tanks”.

RUSSIA – Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, quoted by the Tass news agency, said that the weapons that Western countries are supplying the Ukrainian “regime” “will be crushed by the armed forces of the Russian Federation”.

“Russia’s opponents continue to raise the stakes, but – as we have stated with absolute firmness and confidence on more than one occasion – the objectives of the special military operation will still be achieved and all this military equipment, which is arriving in Ukraine from various parts at an increasing pace, it will be literally crushed,” the deputy minister said.