German-Polish tank transfer stalled says official

Rafał Guz/PAP

The negotiations on transferring some German tanks to Poland in return for Poland's tank transfer to fighting Ukraine, have stalled, said Poland's president's chief defence aide.

Poland has offered an undisclosed number of its Soviet-era T-72 tanks to Ukraine, which is fighting the Russian invasion, and Warsaw was counting that Berlin would offer Poland some of its Leopard-2 tanks in return.

Pawel Soloch, head of the National Security Bureau, told the RMF FM broadcaster on Saturday that the tank talks had been stalled.

Poland and Germany are allies, but their alliance is at times "difficult", he said.

"There are no signs of good will, let us hope that will change," he said.

Poland has been making efforts to modernise its armed forces and has ordered 250 US-made Abrams tanks as well as analysing other suppliers.

To this end, the Polish defence minister, Mariusz Blaszczak, has recently visited South Korea.

"We are looking for opportunities there, too, as we're waiting for the American Abrams tanks," Soloch said.

"We want to fill the gap this way or another and modernise our army independently from Germany," he added.

In late May, Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, expressed disappointment with Germany's weariness.

"If we were supported by our allies from Germany with a number of tanks to replace the ones we gave to Ukraine, we would be very grateful. We were given such a promise, but we have heard that Germany does not want to fulfil this promise. This is a big disappointment for us," he said at that time.