Polish President Andrzej Duda has thanked German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for permitting the re-export of German-made Leopard tanks by Poland to Ukraine.
On Monday, the Polish president and Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak met with Polish instructors and Ukrainian troops training on the Leopard 2 tanks in Świętoszów, western Poland.
Duda said he had no doubts about how vital the decision by NATO allies was to make tanks available for Ukraine, and he noted that it was Poland who seized the initiative on the matter. However, he acknowledged that it was the decision by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to allow the re-export of Leopard tanks that was crucial to making it happen.
The Polish leader expressed his gratitude to Germany for its decision on the Leopard tanks. He was also pleased to see Britain providing some of its Challenger tanks for Ukraine. He added that the U.S. and Canada were now joining the coalition as well to provide tanks and armored vehicles, with the U.S. handing over some of its modern Abrams tanks.
Duda additionally warmly welcomed the Ukrainian soldiers being trained in Świętoszów to operate the Leopard tanks.
Training on the tanks is also being carried out in Germany by the Bundeswehr in Munster, Lower Saxony, and should be completed by the end of March.
The Bundeswehr intends to synchronize the completion of training with the actual handover of Leopard 2 tanks to the Ukrainian armed forces.