Germany won’t block tank exports – Foreign Minister

Germany’s foreign minister, Anna Baerbock, has said she “would not stand in the way” of Poland if they were to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

Ukraine has called on the West to provide the German-made tanks, which they say will help them defeat Russia.

But Germany is yet to provide the armoured vehicles, and its export laws prevent other countries from sending theirs.

On Sunday, Ms Baerbock said Poland had not yet asked for export permission.

“For the moment the question has not been asked, but if we were asked we would not stand in the way,” she told France’s LCI TV on Sunday.

Poland’s Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, said on Monday the government would request authorisation from Berlin. But he said Poland would send the tanks to Ukraine even if it was not granted.

“Even if, ultimately we did not get this consent within the frame­work of a small coalition….we will still hand over our tanks, togeth­er with others to Ukraine,” Mr Morawiecki said.

A spokesperson for the German government said it had not yet received any requests to authorise the delivery of the Leopard 2 tanks on Monday.

Last week, Mr Morawiecki said the country was ready to provide 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Kyiv.

On Monday, the Polish pres­ident’s foreign policy advisor, Marcin Przydacz, said he welcomed Ms Baerbock’s announcement, but would prefer to hear Germany’s position confirmed by Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

“It turns out that through talks and diplomatic actions, Poland is able to change the German position,” Mr Przydacz told Polish Radio

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