Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Jan. 23 that Poland would send a formal request to Germany to get approval for the delivery of German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.
Poland announced plans to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine earlier in January but Germany has been reluctant to approve the supplies, drawing international condemnation. Recently the German government has softened its position under the pressure of its allies, indicating that it might approve the supplies of Leopards.
Morawiecki added that Poland would supply Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine even if Germany does not approve the transfer.
“Even if we did not get this approval, we would still transfer our tanks together with others to Ukraine," Morawiecki said at a news conference, adding that Germany's consent is "of secondary importance."
He also said that the "condition" for supplying Leopards to Ukraine is "to build at least a small coalition of countries" for such deliveries.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Jan. 22 that Berlin would not oppose Poland's decision to supply German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. However, the German government has yet to formally approve the transfer.
If Germany does not authorize Leopard 2 tank supplies to Ukraine, Poland will create a coalition of allies without Germany to supply Leopards to Kyiv anyway, Morawiecki told the Polish Press Agency on Jan. 22.
“We will not passively watch Ukraine bleed to death,” Morawiecki said.
He lambasted Germany's reluctance to authorize the deliveries of Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.
"Germany's attitude is unacceptable. It has been almost a year since the war began. Innocent people are dying every day," Morawiecki said. "Russian bombs are wreaking havoc in Ukrainian cities. Civilian targets are being attacked, women and children are being murdered."
At the Jan. 20 Ramstein meeting, Ukraine's allies failed to reach an agreement on supplying Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine due to Germany's reluctance to approve tank deliveries.
Poland, Finland and other countries are ready to supply Leopard tanks to Ukraine but they need approval from the German government.
Since the beginning of Russia's all-out invasion in February 2022, the German government has been criticized for delaying and blocking arms supplies to Ukraine. Amid pressure from the media, the public and NATO allies, Germany has increased its arms supplies to Ukraine but German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is still accused of being reluctant to antagonize Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.
There have been media reports that Scholz had agreed to supply Leopard 2 tanks only if the U.S. delivers Abrams tanks to Ukraine. The German government has denied the reports.
The U.S. has so far refused to supply Abrams tanks to Ukraine. Several Congressmen have called on the U.S. government to supply Abrams tanks to Ukraine as a way to get the Germans on board.