Wednesday May 22, 2024

Poland asks for better offer from Germany on tanks for Ukraine

Published : 30 Jul 2022, 22:27

  DF News Desk
A Leopard 2 main battle tank drives on a training field during a demonstration by the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF). Photo: Christophe Gateau/dpa.

Poland is asking Germany for a better offer in a deal to supply tanks to Ukraine, reported dpa.

Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak wrote a letter to this effect to his German counterpart Christine Lambrecht, which the portal wPolityce published in Warsaw on Friday evening. He said he hoped for a "serious offer" that would "contribute significantly to strengthening Polish and regional defence capabilities."

Under a so-called circular swap scheme, Poland had agreed to supply older equipment to Ukraine in exchange for more modern replacements from Germany.

Poland has handed over armaments worth almost €1.7 billion ($1.74 billion) to Ukraine, which is under attack from Russia, the minister wrote. This included tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and other heavy weapons, some of them of post-Soviet design, others state-of-the-art like the Krab howitzer. "These deliveries have created gaps in our defence capabilities."

Poland had not been satisfied with Berlin's previous offer of 20 Leopard 2 tanks with piecemeal deliveries starting in 2023. When the displeasure in Warsaw became public, Lambrecht explained again in a letter to Błaszczak how small the German stocks were. She suggested that both countries should jointly order new Leopard 2s. Poland should be given priority in the delivery.

"I would like to emphasize that we do not expect any undeserved advantages," Błaszczak replied. It is about "used capacities that are well known to our military and that can be easily and quickly deployed in the Polish armed forces."