BERLIN — Germany has rejected suggestions that it is reneging on a promise to provide Poland with tanks to make up for those that Warsaw has delivered to Ukraine.
Polish President Andrzej Duda told German broadcaster Welt that he was “very disappointed” Berlin had not fulfilled its promise on the delivery of Leopard tanks to Poland.
Speaking after a meeting with her Polish counterpart in Berlin on Tuesday, Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said the issue had been discussed in order to resolve “misunderstandings.”
She said Germany could not supply heavy weapons “at the press of a button” as there were numerous questions to consider, not least what arms are actually available.
Poland’s Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau said his country regretted that the situation with regard to arms deliveries to Ukraine was “not as dynamic” as hoped, but acknowledged that “the devil lies in the detail” on the issue.
Poland gave Soviet-designed T-72 tanks to Ukraine with the expectation that NATO, the U.S. and Germany would fill that void.
Germany has agreed to several similar circular swaps with allied countries such as Slovenia and the Czech Republic, who in turn are sending older Soviet-era tanks to Ukraine.