Under mounting pressure from its Western allies, Germany, which had so far refused to send tanks to Ukraine, now says it would not stand in the way of Poland if it wanted to give Leopard 2 tanks to Kiev.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock made the remark on Sunday after being asked what would happen if Poland went ahead with sending German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine without German approval.
“For the moment the question has not been asked, but if we were asked, we would not stand in the way,” she told France’s LCI TV.
Baerbock’s comment came after earlier in the day, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told a summit in Paris that all decisions on weapons deliveries to Ukraine would be made in coordination with allies, including the United States.
Ukraine has been calling on its Western allies for months to supply it with modern German-made tanks, but Berlin has so far held back from sending them or allowing other NATO countries to do so.
Germany’s refusal to supply Ukraine with the tanks boils down to its position that German tanks should only be supplied to Ukraine if its other Western allies, particularly the United States, agreed to provide tanks of their own.
US officials, however, have been quoted as saying that President Joe Biden’s administration is not poised to send its own tanks, including the M1 Abrams.
Speaking at the Paris summit, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said he expected a decision on the provision of tanks to Ukraine soon.