Poland donates first Leopard tanks to Ukraine says PM

Viacheslav Ratynskyi/PAP

Poland is the first European country to hand over its German-made Leopard tanks to Ukraine, Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish prime minister, said in Kyiv on Friday.

Morawiecki arrived in Kyiv on Friday morning to mark the first anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and to announce the first shipment of the Leopard tanks as well as hold talks with the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky.

"Today I also want, as the first European country, to symbolically hand over to you, Volodymyr, the first four Polish Leopard 2A4 tanks," the Polish prime minister said at a joint press conference with Zelensky.

"We'll soon be handing over more," Morawiecki pledged, adding that Poland was "advocating among our EU and Nato partners to do the same."

"I have come here today not only with words of support, but also with awareness that this barbaric aggression needs a forceful response," he said.

Morawiecki stressed that he would ask the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, to add Russia's main propagandists to the EU's sanctions list, but commented that the tenth package of EU sanctions that was just being negotiated was "too soft"

"The strength of Polish-Ukrainian relations terrifies Moscow, I'm sure of that," Morawiecki said. "That's why their propaganda tries as it might to drive a wedge between our nations.

"And that is why Russia's main propagandist should be put on sanctions lists and Poland will strongly advocate for it to happen," the prime minister said.

"No nation has to prove that they belong to the European civilisation, but today, after 365 days of war, everyone can see that Ukraine and Kyiv are at the heart of European civilisation and values," Morawiecki said.