On Sunday, Germany’s foreign minister said her state would not stand in the way if Poland wants to send its Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, in a potential breakthrough for Kyiv, which likes the tanks for its fight against Russia’s invasion. Ukrainian officials have been calling on Western allies to provide them with modern German-made tanks for months.
Asked what would occur if Poland went on and sent its Leopard 2 tanks without German approval, Annalena Baerbock said on France’s LCI TV: “For the moment the question has not been asked, but if we were asked we would not stand in the way.”
Her remarks went other than German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s comments at a summit in Paris earlier on Sunday that all decisions on weapons deliveries would be coordinated with supporters, including the United States.
Germany has been under severe pressure to let Leopards go to Ukraine. But Scholz’s Social Democrat party is traditionally skeptical of military involvements and wary of sudden moves that could force Moscow to escalate further. German defense minister Boris Pistorius said on Sunday that he anticipated a decision soon on the tanks, though he held a note of caution.
Pistorius told ARD TV that Germany would not make a hasty decision because the government had many factors to consider, including effects at home on the security of the German population. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy duplicated his long-standing plea for the tanks at his Sunday meeting with former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was visiting Kyiv.
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