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GERMANY AND POLAND

Poland asks Germany to send Patriot missiles to Ukraine

Poland's defence minister has asked Germany to ship a Patriot surface-to-air missile defence system intended for Poland to Ukraine instead to help defend itself against Russia.

Germany's Patriot missile defence system
Germany's Patriot missile defence system at a military training ground in Schwesing, Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Axel Heimken

The offer follows a deadly missile blast in a Polish village last week that Warsaw believes may have been a stray Ukrainian air defence missile launched against a barrage of Russian strikes.

“I have asked Germany to send the Patriot system offered to Poland to Ukraine where it could be installed on their western border,” Mariusz Blaszczak said on Twitter late on Wednesday.

“This would allow Ukraine to protect itself against incurring more casualties and blackouts and reinforce the security of our eastern border,” he said.

READ ALSO: Germany offers to aid Polish air patrols after rocket strike

The German government earlier this week said it had reached an agreement to help Poland protect its skies following an explosion near the Ukrainian border which killed two people.

Poland and NATO have said the blast was probably caused by a stray Ukrainian air defence missile launched against a Russian strike but have said Moscow is ultimately responsible.

Germany has already sent Patriot air defence units to Slovakia, where Berlin hopes to keep them deployed until at least the end of 2023.

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UKRAINE

Germany says no decision yet on Leopard tanks for Ukraine

Germany will help Ukraine to win the war against Russia, Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said Tuesday, adding however that a decision has yet to be made on whether Berlin would supply Leopard tanks to Kyiv.

Germany says no decision yet on Leopard tanks for Ukraine

“We are supporting Ukraine not to lose this war, to win it against Russia,” Pistorius said in an interview with the broadcaster ZDF.

“And to that end, Germany is doing more than practically any other ally except the US,” he said.

Asked when Germany was planning to make a decision on German-made Leopard tanks long sought by Kyiv, Pistorius said it was not up to him.

“This decision will be made in the chancellery,” he said.

He also defended Chancellor Olaf Scholz against accusations of dithering on whether to approve the delivery of Leopards.

READ ALSO: Germany faces backlash over refusal to give Ukraine tanks

“Taking the lead does not mean blindly going ahead,” he said. “And if the decision takes another day or two, then that’s just the way it is,” he said.

Pistorius took office last week at a crucial time for the German defence ministry as the country faces intense international pressure to endorse the
delivery of Leopard tanks.

While scores of nations have pledged military hardware, Kyiv is clamouring for the more powerful Leopard — seen as key to punching through enemy lines.

The tanks are used by several EU nations, but these countries require Berlin’s permission to send the German-made armaments on to Ukraine under Germany’s war weapons control act.

READ ALSO: Leopard 2: What is the German tank long sought by Ukraine?

Poland on Monday upped the pressure on Berlin by saying it would be prepared to go ahead and deliver the tanks without permission.

But Pistorius, who will meet NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Berlin later on Tuesday, insisted there was no division among Ukraine’s Western allies.

Observers would be “well advised not to wantonly conjure up this supposed division within NATO”, he said.

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