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Poland has again stepped up pressure on Germany after it refused to make a decision on the transfer of German-made main battle tanks from European countries to Ukraine.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki vowed to build a “smaller coalition” of countries ready to send tanks and other equipment.
"I try to weigh my words, but I'll say it bluntly. Ukraine and Europe will win this war - with or without Germany," Morawiecki told PAP news agency, calling Germany's position "unacceptable."
Morawiecki also said Germany did not have to activate all its resources, as just a small percentage would be a sign of major progress.
Germany “should not weaken or sabotage" other countries’ activities, he said, adding that Poland would not look on passively while Ukraine bleeds.
Ukrainian defense minister Oleksii Reznikov told Voice of America on Jan. 20 that while Ukraine and its partners wait for Germany's green light, Ukrainian tank crews will start training on Leopard 2 tanks in Poland.
Morawiecki said he had appealed unceasingly to Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz to take decisive action, as Germany is a powerful country both economically and militarily.
On Jan. 20, defense ministers from some 50 countries met for the eighth summit at the U.S. Ramstein Air Base in Germany to discuss further support for Ukraine.
Fighting off pressure from allies, Berlin dodged the decision to provide the long-anticipated Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine at the Ramstein defense summit on Jan. 20, despite the government having earlier promised to reach a final decision by then.
President Volodymyr Zelensky made direct requests for tanks in his address to the meeting, saying that “hundreds of thank you are not hundreds of tanks.”
Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics called on Germany to “provide Leopard tanks to Ukraine now” on Jan. 21 on behalf of Lithuanian and Estonian colleagues.
Western battle tanks, particularly the powerful German-made Leopards, would give Ukraine a technological equipment advantage over Russia, which mostly relies on old Soviet stock, amid threats of a renewed large-scale offensive.