Germany reneges on weapons exchange deal while Poland rearms

Germany seems to have gone back on the proposed arms exchange for Poland’s delivery of its T-72 tanks to Ukraine

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
Leopard II German main battle tank. (Magyar Nemzet/István Mirkó)

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is being criticized at home and abroad for failing to deliver heavy weapons to Ukraine and, as well as for failing to meet the obligation to supply Leopard tanks to Poland to replace the 300 T-72 tanks Poland has delivered to Ukraine.

According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper, the “Ringtausch” (weapons exchange) with Poland is dead in the water and Germany is lagging behind other countries in helping with the Ukraine war effort. 

Poland has delivered six times more military aid to Ukraine than Germany, data from the World Economy Institute shows. In terms of heavy arms equipment, Germany’s only contribution to Ukraine has been seven howitzers. 

CDU defense spokesman Roderich Kiesewetter slammed the present left-liberal government for failing to honor the deal with Poland, describing Germany’s offer to deliver 20 older model Leopard tanks to Poland from April 2023, when Poland has already transferred 300 tanks to Ukraine, as “derisory.”

The head of the parliamentary faction of the CDU/CSU, Thorsten Frei, accused the government of playing “hide and seek” over the delivery of arms. 

In a separate development, the Polish Ministry of Defense approved a contract with a local arms supplier for the delivery of tank destroyers for the Polish Army; these will be located in the area of the Suwalki Gap. Minister of Defense Mariusz Błaszczak confirmed on Wednesday that his department has ordered tank destroyers “Ottokar Brzoza” for the Polish armed forces.

Błaszczak revealed that the strategy was to create anti-tank units in every one of the corps in the Polish Army. Every such unit will have eight tank destroyers, which will be able to fire eight Brimstone missiles with a range of 12 kilometers.

The missiles will initially be sourced from Britain, but the long-term aim is for them to be produced in Poland.

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