Germany will allow Poland to deliver Leopard armored vehicles to Ukraine, which has been pressing to receive them, if Warsaw asks for such authorization, announced today the head of German diplomacy Annalena Baerbock.
“If they ask us, we will not oppose”, said the minister of the Alliance 90/The Greens party, which governs in coalition with Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats, referring to the delivery of German-made armored vehicles to Kiev.
“For the time being, the request has not been made” by Poland, which officially has to make it to Berlin, said the minister, interviewed in Paris by the French channel LCI.
The German government is under increasing pressure to supply Ukraine with heavy Leopard armor, which could have a significant impact on the battlefield against Russian troops.
“I understand the importance of these tanks, we are fully aware of that,” said Baerbock.
Poland and Finland have offered to deliver Leopard tanks they have, but need official approval from Berlin for such re-export.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has so far refused to comment on the hypothesis of indirect deliveries, as well as the question of the direct supply of Leopard armored vehicles belonging to German ‘stocks’.
Questioned on the issue in Paris today at a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron, the chancellor was evasive, repeating the need to act in consultation with Ukraine’s allies on arms delivery issues.
Emmanuel Macron also today admitted sending French Leclerc tanks to Ukraine, demanding, however, that three conditions be met: that it does not lead to an escalation of the conflict, that there are Ukrainian soldiers in a position to use them and that it does not affect the French defense capabilities.
The French leader said coordination work to decide what to do about Ukraine’s requests to the West for heavy main battle tanks would continue “in the coming days and weeks” with other allies, including Germany.
The German chancellor, on the other hand, expressed the total agreement between his country and France in the will to provide Ukraine with “all the necessary support”, provided that “it is necessary” and “with the means that are necessary”, whether financial, humanitarian or of armament.
“The common objective is for Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukraine”, said the German leader in statements made alongside the French President after the Council of Ministers, and in the context of pressure from Ukraine on Berlin to send German “Leopard2” tanks .
It is not the first time that Green government ministers, particularly Baerbock, have taken a more proactive line than the chancellor on the issue of military support for Ukraine.
In recent weeks, several Green figures have urged Olaf Scholz to approve the delivery of tanks to Kiev.
At a meeting last Friday at the US military base in Ramstein, Germany, Ukraine’s western allies postponed any decision on the matter, angering Kiev, which criticized the “indecision”.