Ready to send tanks without Germany’s consent: Poland PM
‘We will either get this agreement quickly, or we will do the right thing ourselves,’ the Polish prime minister said.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki stated on Wednesday that Poland is prepared to go it alone and send tanks to Ukraine without the permission of Germany.
Poland has promised to send Ukraine 14 Leopard 2 tanks. However, because the tanks are German-made, Berlin must give their go-ahead, which Chancellor Olaf Scholz has yet to do.
When Morawiecki returned from Davos, where he had been attending the World Economic Forum, he told Poland’s public radio station, “Consent is a secondary issue here.”
“We will either get this agreement quickly, or we will do the right thing ourselves,” the Prime Minister added.
The German government is waiting for the United States to approve the re-export of its Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, despite requests from several of Germany’s European allies for Berlin to do so.
“Here, the most important thing is that the Germans (…) offer their modern tanks, their modern equipment, as soon as possible, because the ability to defend freedom in Ukraine may depend on it, and so the security of all Europe will depend on it,” Morawiecki said.
Last week, Polish President Andrzej Duda said his country would hand over “a company of Leopard tanks” to Ukraine “as part of international coalition building.” Finnish President Sauli Niinistö then said his country also provide a limited number of tanks “since Finland borders on Russia and is not part of NATO.”
The German government has not changed up to this point. Chancellor Olaf Scholz reiterated his government’s position on sending military aid to Ukraine when pressed on the subject on Wednesday at a Davos event.
“We are [among] the ones that are doing the most,” Scholz said.
“We are never doing something just by ourselves, but together with others, especially the United States, which are very important in this common task to defend Ukrainian independence and sovereignty,” he added.