Germany will not stand in the way if Poland sends its German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, German Foreign Minister Annalina Bierbock 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 permission, Bierbock said: “The question hasn’t been asked at the moment, but we won’t stand in the way if we are asked.”
“We know how important these tanks are, which is why we are now discussing this with our partners,” the German foreign minister added. “We have to make sure that people’s lives are saved and the territory of Ukraine is liberated.”
Earlier on Sunday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz reaffirmed that Berlin and Paris will support Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression and will not allow Europe to return to “hatred and national rivalry.”
“We will continue to provide Ukraine with all the support it needs as long as it is needed. As Europeans, together to defend our European peace plan,” he said during a visit to Paris to mark the 60th anniversary of the Franco-German alliance. Treaty of Elysee.
Germany is under considerable pressure to hand over Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine and other countries to send their German-made tanks to Ukrainian forces. But Berlin hesitated to send Delivery of the highly advanced, Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine could widen Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Poland has repeatedly lashed out at Berlin for its intransigent 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 national Polish PAP news agency. “Russian bombs wreak havoc on Ukrainian cities. Civilian targets hit, women and children killed.”
Here are other updates on the war in Ukraine on Sunday, January 22:
Norway estimates 300,000 deaths
About 180,000 Russian soldiers and 100,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed or wounded in the war in Ukraine, Norwegian Chief of Defense Erik Kristoffersen said.
“Russian losses are starting to approach around 180,000 dead or wounded soldiers,” he said in an interview with TV2, without specifying how the numbers were calculated.
“Ukrainian losses are probably over 100,000 dead or wounded. In addition, there are 30,000 civilians in Ukraine who have died in this terrible war,” Kristoffersen said.
This is the highest figure since US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley said in November that Russian forces had suffered more than 100,000 dead or wounded.
Neither Russia nor Ukraine have released their death toll in months, and none of the figures can be independently verified.
However, Kristoffersen warned that “Russia can continue (this war) for a long time,” citing Moscow’s mobilization and weapons production capabilities.
Macron does not rule out delivery of French heavy tanks to Ukraine
French President Emmanuel Macron has said his country is still studying the decision to deliver French mad Leclerc heavy tanks to Ukraine.
Speaking at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Sunday, Macron said he had asked the defense ministry to act on it, stressing that “nothing has been left out”.
However, the French president stressed that sending any hardware to Ukraine to repel Russian forces would have to be decided “collectively” and coordinated with allies, including Germany.
Macron also said the deployment of heavy tanks to Ukraine should not weaken France’s own defense capabilities or escalate the conflict.
Germany has recently been under heavy pressure to supply battle tanks to Ukraine. Berlin has been reluctant to send the state-of-the-art, 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 has always worked in close coordination with its allies.
Germany’s new defense minister is set to visit Ukraine
German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said he was confident he would go to Ukraine soon. “Maybe even in the next four weeks,” he said Bild am Sonntag newspaper
Pistorius, who took over on Thursday after his predecessor Christine Lambrecht resigned, said his ministry was looking at how best to prepare for any possible decisions on the matter.
“We are in very close dialogue with our international partners, first and foremost, with the US on this issue.”
Putin ally warns against supplying Ukraine with offensive weapons
Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of Russia’s lower house, has warned that the supply of offensive weapons to Ukraine could lead the world to a “terrible war”.
“If Washington and NATO countries supply weapons used to attack civilian cities and seize our territories, as they threaten, this will lead to retaliation with more powerful weapons,” Volodin said on the Telegram messaging app.
“Transferring offensive weapons to the Kyiv regime would lead to a global catastrophe,” he said.
The head of the State Duma said that Moscow considers attacks on the Ukrainian regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhia and Kherson annexed and occupied by Russia as an attack on its territory.
The war prompted a ‘new revival’ of unity, says Zelensky
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he was confident of victory as he celebrated Ukrainian Unity Day. Ukrainians celebrate the 1919 unification of the Ukrainian People’s Republic and the West Ukrainian People’s Republic on January 22.
In an emotional video, Zelensky said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had led to a “new revival of our Ukrainian unity” as millions of Ukrainians came together to defend the country.
“Each region protects the other,” he said. “Together we defend Kiev. Together we defend Kharkiv. Together we liberate Kherson.”
UK Intelligence: Russia Struggles to Expand Military
Britain’s Ministry of Defense said in its regular intelligence update that Russia may struggle to find the material and staff it needs after Moscow announced plans to expand its armed forces.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu recently announced plans to expand the military, including increasing the number of troops from 1.15 million to 1.5 million.
“Shoigu’s plans suggest that the Russian leadership assesses that the conventional military threat will persist for years beyond the current war in Ukraine,” the British report said.
“However, Russia will find it very difficult to staff and accommodate the planned expansion.”
Since Russia started fighting in Ukraine last year, the British ministry has released daily intelligence reports on the war. Russia accused the UK of false propaganda.
More DW coverage of the war in Ukraine
Bulgaria’s former government quietly provided weapons to Ukraine shortly after Russia invaded last year, according to a new investigation by a German newspaper. DW examines the news about the secret weapons supply and what it means for Bulgaria.
Russia’s attack on Ukraine’s energy grid has forced many cities to cut power to conserve energy. Kyiv residents talk about the serious consequences of people taking to the streets.
fb/dj (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)