PM hopes for quick response from Berlin to tank transfer request

2023-01-24 19:51 update: 2023-01-27, 13:19
Photo: PAP/Tomasz Gzell
Photo: PAP/Tomasz Gzell
Poland's prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, has said he hopes Germany will respond quickly to a formal request from Warsaw for Berlin to approve the transfer to Ukraine of Poland's German-built Leopard 2 tanks.

Morawiecki also accused Germany of shirking from the issue and stalling.

Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said earlier on Tuesday that a request for consent had been sent to Berlin, which controls the vehicles' exports licences to non-Nato countries.

Asked at a press conference how long Warsaw would give Berlin to reply to the request, Morawicki answered: "I hope that the response from the German side comes quickly this time, because the Germans are lingering, dodging, acting in a way that is difficult to understand."

The prime minister added that it was clear to see that Germany was unwilling to help defend Ukraine more broadly.

"What does this mean?" he asked. "Does it mean fear, some not-entirely-comprehensible dread, or faith that a return to normal relations with Russia is possible?" He went on to say that it was worth asking such questions as the coalition of states ready to aid Ukraine must grow.

Morawiecki pointed out that Germany is Europe's biggest economy and should contribute greatly to the coalition of countries aiding Ukraine.

"We expect a quick response," he said. "Of course we are already training Ukrainian soldiers in Poland; other countries are also doing that on their territories." (PAP)