Germany’s foreign minister said Berlin “would not stand in the way” of Poland sending Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, on the same day Boris Johnson revisited Kiev.
Berlin is facing increasing pressure to supply Kiev with the German-made Leopard 2 – one of the world’s most respected battle tanks – to counter the Russian invasion, but its leadership has delayed any decision.
Analene Berbock’s comments represent a significant potential breakthrough for Kiev, since under German law the government must give approval to countries such as Poland or Finland to re-export tanks.
Earlier, former British Prime Minister Johnson once again visited the suburbs of Kyiv and said that it was a “privilege” to come for the fourth time at the invitation of Vladimir Zelensky.
Zelensky repeated his long-standing plea for tanks to the Conservative MP.
“We need more weapons: tanks, planes, long-range missiles,” Zelensky said, according to a statement on his website.
British MPs urge Germany to allow German tanks in this ‘moment of utmost urgency’
In a joint letter to the German defense minister, dozens of British MPs urged him to allow Ukraine to defend itself against a Russian invasion using German-made Leopard 2 tanks.
The group, which includes the chairs of 24 main Commons committees and dozens of senior administrators, was co-ordinated by Labour’s Chris Bryant to contact federal Defense Minister Boris Pistorius “at this time of utmost urgency”.
“We are aware of the very significant efforts that Germany has made to support Ukraine, especially in the last twelve months. We understand the historical reasons for the reluctance to provide German and German-made tanks,” they wrote in a copy of the letter obtained by Sun.
“However, we would appeal to you in this moment of utmost urgency to reconsider your position and allow the Leopard 2 battle tanks – both German-owned and German-made – to be delivered to Ukraine within the next few days.”
Shweta Sharma23 January 2023 05:00
Boris Johnson in a shocking visit to Ukraine
Boris Johnson made a surprise visit to Ukraine on Sunday, despite warnings from senior military figures that he should stay away and stop “publicity-seeking”.
Johnson said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had invited him to visit the country for the fourth time, as he urged Western leaders to give Ukraine “all the tools they need.”
He said: “It is a privilege to visit Ukraine at the invitation of President Zelenskiy.” The suffering of the people of Ukraine has gone on for too long.
“The only way to end this war is for Ukraine to win – and win as quickly as possible.” Now is the time to double down and give Ukrainians all the tools they need to get the job done. The sooner Putin fails, the better for Ukraine and the whole world.
His visit comes as he faces pressure over claims he involved BBC chairman Richard Sharpe in negotiations which led to him securing an £800,000 line of credit while in No 10.
Former head of the civil service Sir Bob Kerslake said there was “no doubt” there appeared to be a conflict of interest – describing Mr Sharpe’s reported involvement in the talks as “an important departure from what should really be happening”.
Shweta Sharma23 January 2023 04:23
Germany “would not stand in the way” of Poland sending tanks to Ukraine, says the minister
Germany “will not stand in the way” of Poland sending tanks to Ukraine, the country’s foreign minister said.
Speaking to a French television station on Sunday, Analena Berbock gave the clearest signal yet that Berlin’s European allies could deliver German-made equipment to Ukraine’s front lines.
When asked if Germany would allow Poland to export tanks to Ukraine, Ms. Berbock said: “For now, that question has not been asked, but if it was, we would not stand in the way.”
Shweta Sharma23 January 2023 04:12
Welcome to independent’live coverage of the Russian war in Ukraine.
Shweta Sharma23 January 2023 03:47