On Sunday, Germany’s foreign minister Annalena Baerbock told French television LCI that Berlin would not "stand in the way" of Poland sending German-made Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine as Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has said Poland will continue to build a coalition of European countries to aid Ukraine, with or without Germany's help.
The New York Times reports Morawiecki said to the Polish Press Agency on Sunday, "We will build a smaller coalition of countries ready to donate some of their modern equipment, modern tanks. We will not passively watch Ukraine bleed to death."
On Wednesday, Germany had not yet signaled approval as Poland moved to send in the German-made tanks. Morawiecki told private broadcaster Polsat News that he hoped Germany would change its position on sending the tanks.
"Consent is a secondary issue. Either we will get this consent or we ourselves will do what must be done," Morawiecki said. "We have agreed with our Ukrainian friends, as well as with partners from Western Europe, that we will transfer these tanks together."
Germany was holding out as their policy had been to wait for the US to send American-made tanks to Kyiv before allies would do the same.
On Sunday, German Foreign Minister Baerbock said, "We know how important these tanks are and this is why we are discussing this now with our partners. We need to make sure people's lives are saved and Ukraine's territory liberated."
Many countries in Europe stock the Leopard 2 battle tanks. The war is expected to intensify in the spring and Ukrainian officials have pleaded with its neighbors for the tanks.
Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine in February 2022 and the conflict has not abated since then.
On November 15, two people died in Poland from Ukrainian S-300 missiles that landed in the NATO-member country. Several news outlets immediately reported at the time that the missiles were Russian in origin and Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy called the blast "a very significant escalation." Soon after it was confirmed that the missiles were launched from Ukraine.
The US has sent over $60 billion to Ukraine to aid in their ongoing war with their Russian invaders since February. Congress is set to greenlight more money for Ukraine as President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asks the US for continued aid.
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