Germany will not object to Poland sending Leopard tanks to Ukraine
The German foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, has said her country will not object if Poland decides to hand over some of its German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine
Poland has declared it was willing to donate a company of Leopard 2 tanks, or 14 vehicles, to Ukraine under a broader international coalition it is trying to build.
But since the Leopards have been made in and purchased from Germany, Warsaw formally needs Berlin's consent for their transfer to a non-Nato country.
"At the moment, the question has not been asked, but if we were asked we would not stand in the way," Baerbock said on the French television LCI on Sunday, as quoted by Reuters.
Arkadiusz Mularczyk, a Polish deputy foreign minister, said on state-run Polish Radio One on Monday that "the declaration is important and is something new, because so far Germany has not expressed such a position, and even said that they were not giving or expressing consent."
Mularczyk also said Germany has come under pressure on the matter not only from Poland, but from other Central and Eastern European countries as well as the UK and the US.
Nato members and allies met at Germany's Ramstein Air Base on Friday and one of the issues on the agenda was Germany's consent to handing over Leopard tanks to Ukraine, which some Nato member states have been willing to do. However, the talks failed to achieve an agreement.
Poland's prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, told PAP on Sunday that if Germany does not consent to the transfer to Ukraine of the Leopard 2 tanks, Poland will build a "smaller coalition" of countries ready to send tanks and other equipment.