“Germany is increasing the number of tanks it is selling from 14 to 18,” the Ministry of Defense announced in Berlin on Friday. Poland had previously delivered the first four Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine. Sweden also wants to deliver up to ten Leopard 2 tanks to Kiev.
Morawiecki: “Respond to barbaric aggression with violence”
“I came here today not only with words of support, but also with the knowledge that it is necessary to respond to this barbaric aggression with violence,” Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Friday in Kiev after a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj. More Leopard main battle tanks will follow soon, Morawiecki said.
On the first anniversary of the start of the war in Ukraine, Poland’s Prime Minister traveled to the capital of the embattled neighboring country, where he laid flowers at the memorial wall for those who died in the war and also met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj. Poland’s Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said at a National Security Council meeting in Warsaw that Ukrainian soldiers are currently being trained by Polish, Canadian and Norwegian instructors at the Leopard training center in Swietoszow.
Poland’s cooperation with Germany played an important role in the campaign, Blaszczak said. Both countries want to hand over 14 Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine. Before that was certain, Poland had put considerable pressure on Germany in the discussion about the deliveries. On January 11, President Andrzej Duda announced in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv that his country had decided to equip the Ukrainians with Leopard battle tanks.
Poland ready to train Ukrainian pilots on fighter jets
A little later, the Polish government submitted a corresponding export application to the German federal government, which had to agree to the transfer of the German tanks. Morawiecki said in Kiev that Poland is also ready to train Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets if a coalition is found to hand over the aircraft. Ukraine demands delivery of F-16 fighter jets from western allies.
Sweden also wants to deliver up to ten Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. That should be done in close coordination with Germany, said Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson on Friday in Boden, Sweden. The Scandinavians also want to provide Ukraine with parts of the Hawk and Iris-T air defense systems.