Poland wants broader coalition before giving Leopard tanks to Ukraine

7 January, 08:11 PM
Leopard tanks (Photo:Mariusz Burcz / Alamy via Reuters)

Leopard tanks (Photo:Mariusz Burcz / Alamy via Reuters)

Poland does not plan to transfer Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine without there being a broader coalition of nations willing to supply heavy armor, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said during a press conference on Jan. 7, Rp.pl reports.

According to Morawiecki, negotiations on the transfer of Western tanks to Ukraine are indeed underway: "Together with … Polish President (Andrzej Duda), we are negotiating to create a broader coalition of countries that could transfer this heavy, modern equipment. That's all I can say now."

The Polish prime minister added that a few weeks ago he discussed this issue with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and "perhaps in the coming days we will be able to learn more about this."

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"We as Poland are not going to transfer these tanks now without a broader coalition," he said.

Earlier, U.S. newspaper the Wall Street Journal reported that Poland had begun to consider Ukraine's request for the transfer of Leopard tanks.

On Jan. 6, the United States announced the largest aid package to Ukraine worth $3 billion. It includes Bradley infantry fighting vehicles and Sea Sparrow missiles, which can be used on Soviet Buk missile systems.

On Jan. 5, following talks between President Joe Biden and Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the United States and Germany announced that they would provide Ukraine with Marder and Bradley infantry fighting vehicles. Berlin will also join Washington in providing Ukraine with a Patriot SAM battery.

After talks between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and French President Emmanuel Macron on Jan. 4, it was announced that France would provide Ukraine with AMX-10RC armored vehicles, also classified as wheeled tanks — the first Western-designed tanks for the Ukrainian Armed Forces. France will also supply Ukraine with Bastion armored vehicles.

On Jan. 20, the eighth meeting in the Ramstein format will take place, where representatives of about 50 countries are to discuss military assistance to Ukraine.

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