Sunday, 5 February, 2023

Poland urges German consent to send tanks to Ukraine

WARSAW: Poland's Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak on Tuesday said Warsaw had asked Germany for permission to send its German-made Leopard tanks to Ukraine, reports AFP. 

"The Germans have already received our request for consent to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine," he said on Twitter.  

Poland announced earlier this month that it was ready to deliver 14 Leopard tanks to Kyiv within the framework of an international coalition of countries but was waiting for a clear statement from Berlin authorising the transfer.

Meanwhile, Germany's defence minister said Tuesday that allies could start training Ukrainian forces to use Leopard tanks, as NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg predicted that a decision on their delivery would be made "soon".

Germany has been under intense international pressure in recent weeks to allow the export of powerful German-made Leopard tanks to Ukraine to help it repel Russia's invasion. Berlin has so far declined to give permission despite a growing clamour from many of its allies.

On the other hand, the Kremlin said Tuesday that "nothing good" would come of German-made Leopard tanks being delivered to Ukraine, as pressure grows on Berlin sign off on deliveries of the weaponry to Kyiv.

"These deliveries would bring nothing good to the future relationship" between Berlin and Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in his daily briefing, adding: "They will leave a lasting mark."

However, five regional governors and four deputy ministers are stepping down in Ukraine against the backdrop of several corruption scandals, a senior official said Tuesday.

They include the heads of the central Dnipropetrovsk region, the northeastern Sumy region, the southern Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions, as well as the region surrounding the capital Kyiv, according to Oleg Nemchinov, a senior government official.