Poland requests German approval to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine

CNN
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Poland has formally requested for approval from Germany to switch a few of its German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, its protection minister mentioned Tuesday, elevating the stress on Berlin to reply to Kyiv’s pleas and ship its personal cargo of automobiles into the battlefield.

“The Germans have already acquired our request for consent to the switch of Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine,” Mariusz Blaszczak mentioned on Twitter. “I additionally enchantment to the German facet to affix the coalition of nations supporting Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks. That is our frequent trigger, as a result of it’s concerning the safety of the entire of Europe!”

The German authorities didn’t instantly reply to CNN’s request for remark.

Germany has up to now resisted calls from Poland, the US and a handful of different NATO international locations to switch the tanks into Ukraine, or authorize different international locations to ship a few of their Leopards to Kyiv.

That place has led to a weekslong spat between German and Polish leaders, with Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki accusing Germany of “losing time” by failing to decide.

“We’re making ready our choice and it’ll come very quickly,” German Protection Minister Boris Pistorius mentioned throughout a joint press convention with NATO Secretary Common Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday, including that if the choice is to ship the tanks, Germany would be capable of “act very quickly.”

Poland, together with various European international locations, has its personal batch of Leopards which it’s in search of to re-export. By rule Berlin should approve such a transfer, however the German authorities has indicated it won’t stand in the best way of Poland sending Leopards throughout its jap border into Ukraine.

Morawiecki mentioned Monday {that a} “situation” for Poland was the meeting of a “small coalition” of states prepared to ship battle tanks to Ukraine. However international minister Zbigniew Rau later informed journalists that Warsaw was “decided” to ship tanks whatever the choices of different international locations.

The Leopard 2 is seen as an important, trendy navy car that might bolster Kyiv’s forces because the warfare with Russia approaches the one-year mark.

In whole, there are round 2,000 Leopard 2 tanks unfold throughout Europe, at totally different ranges of readiness.

Every tank accommodates a 120mm Smoothbore gun, and a 7.62mm machine gun; it will probably attain speeds of 70 km per hour, or 50 kmp/h when off-road, making maneuverability certainly one of its key options. And there’s all-around safety from threats, together with improvised explosive gadgets, mines or anti-tank fireplace, in keeping with its German producer, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly pleaded for international locations to cease squabbling over whether or not to ship the tanks.

“Now we have talked a whole bunch of instances concerning the scarcity of weapons. We can not go solely on motivation,” he mentioned throughout a digital look on the World Financial Discussion board assembly in Davos final week.

In an obvious swipe at Germany’s stalling, Zelensky added: “There are moments when there is no such thing as a have to hesitate. When individuals say – I’ll provide you with tanks if another person does.”