Poland intends to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine without German approval

Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in a radio interview on Thursday, January 19, that his country would send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine without securing Germany’s approval if Berlin does not agree to their re-export at Friday’s meeting of western Defense ministers at Ramstein airbase: “consent is of secondary importance” when it comes to German-made tanks because the key issue was to get military aid to Ukraine urgently. ”We will either obtain this consent quickly, or we will do it ourselves,” Morawiecki added, heaping further pressure on Berlin to allow German-made Leopard 2s to be sent to Ukraine in preparation for a spring offensive.
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Poland is willing to offer some of its Leopard 2A4 MBTs to Ukraine (Picture source: Army Recognition)

Poland, along with Finland, said it wants to give 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, which would normally require German approval, but it is one of a number of countries trying to force the pace at a time when Berlin is still negotiating. Arvydas Anusauskas, Lithuania’s Defense minister, said others could follow suit at the Ramstein meeting on Friday, January 20. “Some of the countries will definitely send Leopard tanks to Ukraine, that is for sure,” he said.

Citing open source information, the Polish army has a total of 137 Leopard 2A4 Main Battle Tank (being upgraded to 2PL), 105 Leopard 2A5 MBTs, and less than 10 Leopard 2PL MBTS. With the donation of its old Soviet-made T-72s to Ukraine, Poland also ordered 250 American M1A2 Abrams SEP V3 as well as 180 South Korean K2 tanks.

The contract to acquire German-made Leopard 2A4 MBT was signed in 2002 for a total of 105 Leopard 2A4 which is the first operational successor to the Leopard 1 MBT.

In November 2013, the Polish Ministry of Defense (MoD) signed an agreement for the acquisition of additional Leopard 2 main battle tanks (MBTs) and related military equipment. This new order included the delivery of 105 Leopard 2A5 MBTs, 14 Leopard 1A4 MBTs, 18 Bergepanzer 2 armored recovery vehicles (ARVs), as well as 200 trucks and peripheral material.