It is still not clear if and when German battle tanks will be delivered to Ukraine. Poland’s Prime Minister Morawiecki now wants to ask Germany for permission to send the “Leopard” to Ukraine. All current news in the ticker.
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10.16 a.m .: Poland wants to ask the German government to send the Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine. This was announced by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. So it’s having an effect that Poland and my “Leopard” coalition are trying, even if Germany doesn’t join the Leopard-supplying countries. Explanation: As the country where the tanks are manufactured, Germany must give its approval for export to third countries.
Monday, January 23, 8:50 a.m.: Jürgen Trittin (Greens), a member of the German Bundestag’s Foreign Affairs Committee, assumes that Ukraine can expect deliveries of Leopard tanks from Western allies. “I fear that there is an escalation in Ukraine and that they need tanks for that, that is undeniable. I’m also sure that they will get these tanks,” Trittin said on the RTL/ntv program “Frühstart”. However, Trittin agreed that the exact scope of the deliveries and who they would come from would have to be decided in the “joint convoy of NATO”. With regard to the delivery of Leopard tanks from third countries, e.g. Poland, Trittin added: “You will get Leopards if Poland can bring itself to submit an application to Germany.”
9:21 p.m .: According to Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, Germany would not oppose the delivery of Leopard main battle tanks from other countries to Ukraine. “We have not been asked so far and (…) if we were asked, we would not stand in the way of that,” said the Green politician on Sunday evening to the French broadcaster LCI. Baerbock answered the question of what would happen if Poland delivered Leopard tanks to Ukraine. In order to supply German tanks to other countries, Germany actually has to approve it.
Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki had announced that he would, if necessary, deliver Leopard tanks to Ukraine without Germany’s consent. He told the PAP news agency on Sunday: “We will not stand by and watch Ukraine bleed dry. Ukraine and Europe will win this war – with or without Germany.” If there is no early agreement with Germany, Poland will form a “smaller coalition” with other countries. These countries would then begin supplying some of their Leopard tanks to Ukraine without German approval.
Even after the Franco-German summit in Paris on Sunday, Chancellor Olaf Scholz still did not indicate when he would make his decision on the delivery of German main battle tanks to Ukraine and what he would make it dependent on. French President Emmanuel Macron did not rule out the delivery of Leclerc main battle tanks, but did not want to commit himself either.
8:05 p.m .: US politicians from Democrats and Republicans are pushing for the delivery of Abrams main battle tanks to Ukraine in order to persuade Germany to act on the Leopard 2 issue. A single Abrams main battle tank would be enough to put the federal government under pressure, Republican Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, hinted on ABC television. According to him, the announcement of such a delivery would already be enough.
Democratic Senator Chris Coons was also open to Abrams deliveries to the US broadcaster, should they be necessary for sending Leopard tanks from Germany or Poland.
7:02 p.m .: French President Emmanuel Macron does not rule out the delivery of French Leclerc battle tanks to Ukraine. “As far as Leclerc is concerned, nothing is out of the question,” Macron said at a joint press conference with Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Paris on Sunday. However, providing these battle tanks must not escalate the conflict, must not weaken the country’s own defense capability and must represent realistic and efficient support for Ukraine.
The deadline for training the Ukrainian crews and delivering the tanks must be taken into account, Macron said. The question will be discussed with allies such as Germany in the coming days and weeks.
6:59 p.m .: The Greens chairman Omid Nouripour urges the federal government to position itself quickly on tank delivery requests from other states to Ukraine. If there is a request for a delivery permit from states in the European Union, “then they deserve a quick answer,” said Nouripour on Sunday evening in the ARD “Report from Berlin”. At the same time, he stressed the importance of international coordination on the issue of arms deliveries.
6:15 p.m .: Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki has announced that he will, if necessary, deliver Leopard tanks to Ukraine without Germany’s consent. He told the PAP news agency on Sunday: “We will not stand by and watch Ukraine bleed dry. Ukraine and Europe will win this war – with or without Germany.” If there is no early agreement with Germany, Poland will form a “smaller coalition” with other countries. These countries would then begin supplying some of their Leopard tanks to Ukraine without German approval.
Morawiecki published a similar statement in English on Twitter.
Sunday, January 22, 11:25 a.m .: The continued hesitation of Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) in the delivery of Leopard tanks to Ukraine has been harshly criticized internationally. Scholz’s decision should now also weigh heavily on the relationship with the United States. As the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” reports, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin got into a heated argument with Chancellor Wolfgang Schmidt on the fringes of the Ramstein Conference. The encounter was “tense,” according to an internal report from American government circles.
Austin was already on his way to Germany when he received the news that Scholz publicly made his deliveries to Ukraine dependent on the United States. According to media reports, Scholz said in a phone call with US President Biden that he would only supply Leopard 2 tanks if the US were to send Abrams-type main battle tanks. According to the “SZ”, US security adviser Jake Sullivan called Scholz’s foreign policy adviser, Jens Plötner, and protested violently and harshly. The US government has rejected such a connection between the deliveries since October, since laying and operating the Abrams tanks would take too long.
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