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Germany reluctant to transfer its tanks to Poland

The negotiations on transferring some German tanks to Poland, to replace Poland’s tanks sent to support the war effort in Ukraine, have stalled, said Poland’s president’s chief defence aide.

Poland has offered an undisclosed number of its Soviet-era T-72 tanks to Ukraine, which is fighting the Russian invasion, and Warsaw was counting on its NATO ally, Berlin, to provide some of its Leopard-2 tanks in return.

Pawel Soloch, head of the National Security Bureau, told the RMF FM broadcaster on Saturday that the tank talks had been stalled.

Poland and Germany are allies, but their alliance is at times “difficult,” said Mr. Soloch. “There are no signs of good will, let us hope that will change,” he added.

Poland has been making efforts to modernise its armed forces and has ordered 250 US-made Abrams tanks as well as been considering other suppliers. To this end, the Polish Defence Minister, Mariusz Blaszczak, has recently visited South Korea.

“We are looking for opportunities there, too, as we’re waiting for the American Abrams tanks,” Soloch said. “We want to fill the gap one way or another and modernise our army independently from Germany,” he added.

In late May, Poland’s President Andrzej Duda expressed disappointment with Germany’s weariness.

“If we were supported by our allies from Germany with a number of tanks to replace the ones we gave to Ukraine, we would be very grateful. We were given this promise, but we have heard that Germany is not willing to fulfil this promise. This is a big disappointment for us,” he said at that time.

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