Poland to seek Berlin’s approval to send tanks to Ukraine

Poland will apply for consent from Berlin to export its German-made Leopard tanks to Ukraine, the country’s prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Monday.

German chancellor Olaf Scholz has resisted international pressure to allow the tanks to be sent to Ukraine.

Germany’s Green foreign minister Annalena Baerbock told a French television programme on Sunday that Berlin “would not stand in the way” if Poland were to send its Leopard tanks to Ukraine. She added that Warsaw had not yet requested German permission to do so.

“We will apply for such consent,” Morawiecki told reporters, in comments broadcast by local news channels. “But even if we do not receive this consent, we will still hand over our tanks together with others as part of a small coalition.”

Morawiecki did not provide any details on when a formal request could be made. Germany’s original supply contract to Poland gives Berlin control over any re-export of the tanks.

The Polish prime minister’s comments came as EU foreign ministers met in Brussels on Monday for talks that will include tank deliveries to ..

Kyiv has said tanks are a priority in its defence against Russian troops in Ukraine.

“From my personal opinion, these kind of arms should be provided to the Ukrainian army,” said Josep Borrell, EU foreign policy chief. “But it’s a member state decision and we’re here to discuss it.”

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