Poland has said it was willing to send German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine without approval, but would first seek permission from Berlin, as Kyiv presses its allies for heavy weaponry.
European nations agreed on Monday to spend another 500 million euros ($543m) to arm Kyiv in the latest boost to the multibillion-dollar drive to help Ukraine push back Russian forces.
However, while scores of nations have pledged military hardware, Kyiv is clamouring for more advanced and heavier weapons, notably the powerful Leopard 2 – seen as key to punching through enemy lines.
Berlin, which needs to grant permission for the tanks to be re-exported to Ukraine, has come under fire for failing to take the critical decision.
After days of mounting pressure and stalling, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on Sunday said Germany would not stand in the way if Warsaw asked to send Leopard 2 tanks.Pre Birthday interview: Birthday Party of Haija Faidat Sarumi Akintunde
“We will seek this approval,” Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told reporters Monday.
Morawiecki didn’t specify when the request to Germany will be made. He said that Poland is building a coalition of nations ready to send Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine.
“Even if we didn’t get such an approval in the end, we will give our tanks to Ukraine anyway – within a small coalition of countries, even if Germany isn’t in that coalition,” Morawiecki said.