Germany ‘won’t stand in the way’ of Poland’s decision to supply Leopard tanks to Ukraine

Germany’s foreign minister on Sunday said that her government would not stand in the way of Poland sending its Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. For Ukrainian officials who have been calling on its western allies to supply them with german-made tanks for months, this could be the big breakthrough Kyiv has been waiting for. Berlin has till now stood in the way of sending the tanks itself or allowing other NATO nations to do so.

Replying to a question about Germany’s reaction to Poland possibly sending the Leopard 2 tanks without Germany’s permission, Annalena Baerbock, the German foreign minister said, “for the moment the question has not been asked, but if we were asked we would not stand in the way.” Baerbock was in a conversation with France’s LCI TV.

Watch | World at War: Will United States & Germany send their M1 Abram & Leopard tanks?

Berlin has been facing heavy pressure to let the tanks go to Ukraine. However, the country’s social democratic party is sceptical regarding military involvement. As per Reuters, the nation is also wary of sudden moves that could trigger a further escalation of Moscow’s aggression. 

On Sunday, German defence minister Boris Pistorius said that he expects a decision soon. Talking to ARD Tv he said that his nation has other factors like the safety of their citizens to consider and that they would not make a hasty decision.

Volodymyr Zelensky, the President of the embattled nation of Ukraine, has for long been pleading for the heavily armoured tanks which he says would give Kyiv ground troops more mobility and protection against the expected heightened Russian offensive.

In a Sunday meeting with former UK PM Boris Johnson, he reiterated his pleas and said, “We need more weapons: tanks, aircraft, long-range missiles.”

Russia on the other hand on Friday remarked that the supply of the tanks would not change the course of the conflict and would only add on to the problems of the Ukrainians. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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