WARSAW – Poland said Tuesday it was willing to send German-made Leopard tanks to Ukraine without approval, but would first seek permission from Berlin, as Kyiv presses its allies for heavy weaponry.
European nations agreed to spend another 500 million euros ($540 million) to arm Kyiv in the latest boost to the multi-billion-dollar drive to help Ukraine push back Russian forces.
However, while scores of nations have pledged military hardware, Kyiv is clamouring for more advanced and heavier weapons, notably the powerful Leopard — seen as key to punching through enemy lines. Berlin, which needs to grant permission for the tanks to be sent to Ukraine, has come under fire for failing to take the critical decision.
After days of mounting pressure and stalling, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on Sunday said Germany would not stand in the way if Warsaw asked to send Leopard tanks.
“We will seek this approval,” Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told reporters Monday.
“Even if we didn’t get such an approval in the end, we will give our tanks to Ukraine anyway — within a small coalition of countries, even if Germany isn’t in that coalition”, Morawiecki said.
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