Polish Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak said that he was not certain if Germany wants Ukraine to win the conflict. He is of the opinion that Berlin should donate more tanks from its stockpiles to Ukraine, which is why Polish pressure on Germany remains as strong as it was before.
“There is a reason for this pressure,” said Błaszczak.
He noted that when the Polish government sought support for Ukraine, it was widely criticized by the opposition.
“The opposition blindly parrots Germany, so much so, that if they ruled in Poland, they would say that Ukraine does not need any Leopards or Patriots. They would repeat everything Berlin is saying,” he stated.
The Polish defense minister said in an interview for Polish Radio 1 that President Andrzej Duda announced plans for a coalition to donate modern tanks to Ukraine during his visit to Lviv two weeks ago.
“It can be said plainly, if not for Polish pressure exerted on Germans, the decision to donate Leopard tanks to Ukraine would not have been made,” said Błaszczak.
Berlin just approved donating Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine on Wednesday. In the first phase, 14 Leopard 2A6 tanks will be delivered to Kyiv from the Bundeswehr’s stockpiles. Germany also gave permission to partner countries to deliver similar German-made tanks to Ukraine.
At the same time, Błaszczak stressed, Germany’s decision does not mean a drastic change in the country’s attitude toward the Ukraine war. He referred to the words of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who said in the Bundestag that “Leopard tanks are a red line” and Germany will not send fighter jets and land forces to Kyiv.
When asked if Germans really want Ukraine to win the war, Błaszczak admitted that “it is a question he always asks when talking to German officials.”
Błaszczak explained that Polish government remembers “what was going on between Berlin and Moscow and the Nord Stream pipeline,” which allowed Putin to build up his strength.
Błaszczak also mentioned the topic of strengthening Polish military capabilities, stating that this year, 58 Abrams will arrive in Poland, with the first units arriving in spring. Soldiers from the 1st Warsaw Armored Brigade are already trained to use the Abrams tanks, added Błaszczak.