Poland Ready to Hand over Western Tanks to Ukraine - Duda

Wednesday, 11 January 2023

Polish President Andrzej Duda said during his visit to Lviv that Warsaw had decided to hand over a company of Leopard 2 tanks to Kyiv within the framework of the international coalition.

According to PAP, Duda stated that Poland had decided to transfer a company of Leopard tanks to Ukraine (about ten tanks) "within the international coalition."

It still needs to be made clear which international coalition the Polish president had in mind. Earlier on Tuesday, Germany (whose permission for Leopard 2 is required) stated it had yet to receive any requests from its allies.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked Poland and Lithuania for their decision on military assistance.

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda and Polish President Andrzej Duda arrived in Ukraine without public announcements and met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Lviv within the "Lublin Triangle."

Ukraine is particularly interested in Leopard tanks. There are over 2,000 of them in Europe and they are in service with 13 countries. Their re-export requires Berlin's permission. Ukraine has repeatedly asked Germany for Leopard 2 tanks, but Berlin has been cautious about supplying them, worrying about further escalation.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Monday he remained convinced of the need to coordinate weapons deliveries to Ukraine with allies as pressure mounts on Berlin to send Kyiv its Leopard 2 battle tanks rather than acting alone.

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