Polish President Andrzej Duda has accused Germany of reneging on a promise to offer tanks to exchange people who Poland gave to Ukraine to assist its defence towards Russia.
“We handed over tanks to Ukraine, a really giant variety of them, to offer pressing assist,” mentioned Duda, talking on the World Financial Discussion board in Davos.
“If we had been supported by our allies from Germany with a batch of tanks to exchange those we gave to Ukraine, we might be very grateful,” he continued. “We had such a promise, [but now] we hear that Germany is not going to wish to fulfil this promise. It’s a huge disappointment for us.”
The primary movies of #Polish tanks in #Ukraine have been launched. #Poland not too long ago transferred 232 T-72M1 tanks, in addition to man-portable air protection programs, a number of rocket launchers and self-propelled howitzers. Be aware the shortage of reactive armor. pic.twitter.com/MixVbQAkys
— OSINT Aggregator (@AggregateOsint) May 2, 2022
Final month, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki confirmed longstanding rumours that Poland had offered tanks to Ukraine. Polish officers later advised the Wall Road Journal that no less than 240 Soviet-designed T-72 tanks had been transferred.
Warsaw hoped that it will obtain tanks from Western allies to compensate. In April, Boris Johnson introduced that the British authorities was “taking a look at sending tanks to Poland to assist them as they ship a few of their T-72s to Ukraine”.
Shortly afterwards, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported that the Polish authorities had requested Germany for a batch of Leopard 2 tanks to assist substitute the T-72s it had given to Ukraine. However the newspaper famous that Berlin had nonetheless not decided.
#UkraineRussiaWar Since weeks #Poland presents #Germany to ship its T-91 tanks to Ukraine, substituted afterwards by German Leopard-2. To date no resolution has been made in Berlin. https://t.co/fzcvH2XV2X
— Björn Müller (@Bjoern__M) April 30, 2022
Final week, Der Spiegel reported that talks on the difficulty had been “deadlocked”, and that German defence minister Christine Lambrecht had privately admitted that there was no hope of an settlement with Warsaw.
Based on the newspaper’s sources, whereas the Czech Republic accepted older fashions of tanks from Germany to exchange these it offered to Ukraine, Poland insisted on the most recent model, believing that is what had been promised. However Germany views this as inconceivable, noting that its personal military doesn’t but even have them.
The state of affairs “is now turning into an unsightly argument”, wrote Der Spiegel. Polish deputy overseas minister Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk advised the newspaper that “the Germans made guarantees however sadly none of those have been carried out”.
The German Greens – a part of the ruling coalition – have additionally criticised the failure to achieve a take care of Poland. “It’s essential that the change with Poland is now carried out, as a result of Warsaw has already performed quite a bit to assist Ukraine,” mentioned Anton Hofreiter, considered one of its members of parliament.
In essence Poland expects provision of Leopard 2A7 to exchange outdated T-72 they delivered to Kyiv. Germany shouldn’t be able to offering such, given minuscule numbers even accessible to German Military. A German pitch offering older Leopard 2 variants to be upgraded later was rejected.
— Alex Luck (@AlexLuck9) May 21, 2022
In the meantime, Poland has reportedly additionally been in discussions with the US about acquiring Abrams tanks which can be saved in Europe, reported Dziennik Gazeta Prawna yesterday.
Warsaw not too long ago concluded an settlement to buy 250 of the most recent Abrams, however the first is not going to be delivered till 2025-26, with solely coaching variations arriving earlier than then, notes the newspaper.
“We’re relying on the assist of the NATO neighborhood, and we’re relying on the assist of the US, and likewise of Germany,” mentioned Duda throughout his remarks in Davos at present.
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Major picture credit score: 1GNC Münster/Flickr (below CC BY 2.0)
Daniel Tilles is editor-in-chief of Notes from Poland. He has written on Polish affairs for a variety of publications, together with Overseas Coverage, POLITICO Europe, EUobserver and Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.