Germany’s top diplomat stated on Sunday that the German government will not oppose if Poland decides to provide Leopard 2 combat tanks to Ukraine, indicating progress on providing the weaponry that Kyiv has regarded as critical to its capacity to repel an escalating Russian invasion.
Polish officials have not formally requested Berlin’s permission to share some of their German-made Leopards, but German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told French TV channel LCI that “if we were asked, we would not stand in the way.”
Baerbock stated in interview footage published by LCI that German officials “know how vital these tanks are” and “this is why we are discussing this now with our partners.”
During a gathering on Friday at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, supporters of Ukraine committed billions of euros in military assistance to Ukraine.
The failure to reach an agreement over Ukraine’s urgent need for Leopard 2 tanks overshadowed the new promises made by international defence officials.
Germany, one of the biggest arms suppliers to Ukraine, requested an assessment of its Leopard 2 stock in anticipation of a potential approval.
However, the German government has been cautious in boosting its military assistance to Ukraine, and this reluctance is said to have historical and cultural roots.
Poland and the Baltic states, nations on NATO’s eastern border that feel most threatened by Russia’s aggression have criticised Germany’s hesitancy.
Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister of Poland, stated that his nation was willing to form a “smaller coalition” of nations that would send their Leopard tanks to Ukraine even if the other NATO and EU member did not agree to the transfer.
Earlier, some Polish authorities claimed that Finland and Denmark were also prepared to supply Leopards to Ukraine.
Even by the standards of a horrific war that has been raging for almost a year, killing tens of thousands of people, uprooting millions more, and wreaking massive wreckage on Ukrainian cities, the last week was particularly tragic for that country.
At least 45 civilians were killed on January 14 when a barrage of Russian missiles pounded an apartment building in the city of Dnipro in the southeast.
In a Kyiv suburb on Wednesday, a government helicopter collided with a structure housing a kindergarten.
Among the 14 fatalities were the interior minister of Ukraine, other officials, and a kid on the ground.
Zelenskyy promised on Sunday that Ukraine would win the conflict.
“We are united because we are strong. We are strong because we are united,” the Ukrainian leader made the statemen during a video speech to commemorate Ukraine Unity Day, which marks the unification of east and west Ukraine in 1919.