Germany tries to ease conflict with Poland over tanks
Mariusz Blaszczak, Poland's defense minister, has received a letter from his Germany counterpart on what Poland feels is a broken promise from Berlin to replenish Poland's tank supply, a German daily has reported.
Suddeutsche Zeitung reported that it had accessed a letter written by Christine Lambrecht to the Polish defense minister in which she tried to ease the situation surrounding the so-called Ringtausch deal. Under the agreement, countries that agreed to send tanks to Ukraine, following the Russian invasion of that country, would have their fleets quickly replaced by vehicles sent from Germany.
Poland has already sent more than 200 Soviet produced T-72 tanks to Ukraine and believes that Germany's current offer to give Poland only 20 modern Leopard 2 tanks as replacements is not sufficient.
Lambrecht wrote in her letter that Germany had also offered 100 Leopard 1 tanks as well as Marder infantry fighting vehicles. Both are older types of equipment, noted Suddeutsche Zeitung.
"Compensation from the Bundeswehr's resources is not possible due to our own shortages and the fulfillment of allied obligations," she pointed out and appealed for understanding.
"It would also be possible to jointly order state-of-the-art Leopard 2 tanks from German industry," she wrote. "We would make every effort to give Poland priority in the production and delivery of these new tanks."
Lambrecht also thanked Poland for handing over tanks to Ukraine. "Your country has effectively supported Ukraine through a very generous and, above all, very quick donation of tanks," she wrote. "For this, I have the greatest personal respect and express my sincere thanks."