Germany would not stand in the way if Poland sent its German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said in an interview with French television LCI on Sunday.
Asked what would happen if Poland went ahead and sent its Leopard 2 tanks without German approval, Baerbock said: “At the moment the question has not been asked, but if we were asked , we would not stand in the way.”
“We know how important these tanks are and that is why we are now discussing them with our partners,” added the German Foreign Minister. “We have to make sure people’s lives are saved and Ukrainian territory is liberated.”
Earlier on Sunday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz reaffirmed that Berlin and Paris would support Ukraine in its fight against Russian occupation and not allow Europe to fall back into “hatred and national rivalries”.
“We will continue to give Ukraine all the support it needs for as long as necessary. Together, as Europeans, to defend our European project of peace”, he declared during a visit to Paris to celebrate 60 years of Franco-German history. Elysee treaty.
German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said on Sunday he expected a decision soon on delivering the tanks to Ukraine.
Pistorius told German public broadcaster ARD that Berlin would not make a hasty decision because there were many factors to consider, including the consequences in the country for the safety of the German population.
Germany has come under considerable pressure both to deliver Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine and to allow other countries to send their German-made tanks to Ukrainian forces. But Berlin hesitated to send the highly advanced Leopard 2 tanks towards Ukraine for fear that this would lead to an enlargement of the Russian war in Ukraine.
Poland has repeatedly criticized Berlin for its wavering stance.
“Germany’s attitude is unacceptable. It’s been almost a year since the war started. Innocent people are dying every day,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told the Polish national news agency PAP. “Russian bombs wreak havoc in Ukrainian cities. Civilian targets are attacked, women and children are murdered.”
Here are more updates on the war in Ukraine on Sunday, January 22:
Norway estimates more than 300,000 victims
Norwegian defense chief Eirik Kristoffersen said around 180,000 Russian and 100,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed or injured in the war in Ukraine.
“Russian losses are beginning to approach 180,000 dead or wounded soldiers,” he said in an interview with TV2, without specifying how the figures were calculated.
“Ukrainian casualties are probably over 100,000 dead or wounded. In addition, Ukraine has about 30,000 civilians who died in this terrible war,” Kristoffersen said.
This is the highest estimate after General Mark Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in November that the Russian military had suffered more than 100,000 dead or wounded, with a toll ” probably” similar on the Ukrainian side.
Neither Russia nor Ukraine has released their casualty counts for months, and none of the numbers can be independently verified.
Kristoffersen, however, warned that “Russia is capable of continuing (this war) for quite a long time”, citing Moscow’s mobilization and arms production capabilities.
Macron does not rule out delivering French heavy tanks to Ukraine
French President Emmanuel Macron said his country is still considering a decision to deliver crazy Leclerc heavy tanks from France to Ukraine.
Speaking at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Sunday, Macron said he had asked the Defense Ministry to work on it, stressing that “nothing is ruled out”.
However, the French president stressed that sending any equipment to Ukraine to repel Russian forces should be “collectively” decided and coordinated with allies, including Germany.
Macron also said that the deployment of heavy tanks in Ukraine should not weaken France’s defense capabilities or aggravate the conflict.
Germany has recently come under immense pressure to deliver battle tanks to Ukraine. Berlin has been reluctant to send the highly advanced German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine or allow other countries to transfer them.
On Sunday, Scholz reiterated Berlin’s position on the issue, stressing that his country had always acted in close coordination with its allies.
Germany’s new defense minister plans to visit Ukraine
German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said he was “certain” to visit Ukraine soon. “Probably even within the next four weeks,” he said. sunday picture log.
Pistorius, who took office on Thursday after the resignation of his predecessor Christine Lambrecht, said his ministry was trying to prepare as well as possible for any possible decision in the matter.
“We are in very close dialogue with our international partners, first and foremost with the United States, on this issue.”
Putin ally warns against supplying offensive weapons to Ukraine
Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament, warned that the West delivering offensive weapons to Ukraine would lead the world into a “terrible war”.
“If Washington and NATO countries provide weapons that will be used to strike civilian towns and attempt to seize our territories, as they threaten, this will lead to retaliatory measures using more powerful weapons” , Volodin said on the Telegram messaging app.
“Offensive arms deliveries to the Kyiv regime will lead to a global catastrophe,” he said.
The head of the State Duma said that Moscow considers the attacks on the Ukrainian territories of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson, which Russia has annexed and occupied, as an attack on its territory.
The war has caused a ‘new revival’ of unity, says Zelenskyy
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he was confident of victory as he marked Ukrainian Unity Day. Ukrainians celebrate the 1919 unification between the Ukrainian People’s Republic and the West Ukrainian People’s Republic on January 22.
Zelenskyy said in a moving video that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine led to a “new renewal of our Ukrainian unity” as millions of Ukrainians came together to defend the country.
“Each region protects the other,” he said. “And we all together defend Kyiv. And we all together defend Kharkiv. And we all together liberate Kherson.”
British intelligence: Russia struggles to expand its army
Britain’s Ministry of Defense said in its regular intelligence update that Russia was likely struggling to find the equipment and personnel it needed after Moscow announced plans to expand its armed forces.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu recently announced moves to expand the military, including increasing the number of troops from 1.15 million to 1.5 million.
“The Shoigu plans signal that Russian leaders most likely believe that a heightened conventional military threat will endure for many years beyond the current war in Ukraine,” the UK report said.
“However, Russia will most likely struggle to staff and equip the planned expansion.”
The British Ministry has issued daily intelligence reports on the war since Russia launched the war in Ukraine last year. Russia has accused the UK of waging a disinformation campaign.
More DW coverage on the war in Ukraine
A new investigation by a German newspaper has revealed that the former Bulgarian government quietly supplied arms to Ukraine shortly after the Russian invasion last year. DW delves into the news about secret weapon supplies and what it means for Bulgaria.
Russia’s attacks on Ukraine’s energy grid have forced many cities to implement blackouts to save energy. Residents of Kyiv talk about the serious consequences for people on the streets.
fb/dj (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)