Poland has sent an official request to Germany asking for permission to send tanks to Ukraine, Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak said Tuesday.
The German economy ministry has received the request “for consent to transfer Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine,” Błaszczak wrote on Twitter.
A spokeswoman for the German economy ministry confirmed, saying: “The necessary coordination and procedures in the German government have been initiated; these are ongoing and are being conducted with due urgency.”
According to Spiegel, Poland is applying for an export license for 14 Leopard 2 tanks. Since the tanks are manufactured in Germany, it must provide permission for their re-export.
“I have expressly encouraged partner countries that have Leopard tanks ready for deployment to train Ukrainian forces on these tanks,” Boris Pistorius, the new German defense minister, said during a press conference alongside NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday morning.
“What we need is heavier, more modern equipment,” Stoltenberg said. “This is urgent because Russia is preparing for new offensives. We need to enable the Ukrainians sooner or faster to be able to repel those offenses and liberate their own territory.”
Stoltenberg added that he and Pistorius “had a good discussion today on the issue of German battle tanks, and I’m confident that there will be a solution soon.”
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced on Monday that an official request for permission to Germany was on its way.
German reluctance to send battle tanks to Ukraine has caused fractions in the governing coalition. Leading politicians from the Greens and the Free Democratic Party (FDP), the two junior partners to Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats, have been urging the chancellor to step up military support for Kyiv. They argue that at the very least, Scholz should grant the necessary permission for countries like Poland and Finland to send their own German-made Leopards to Ukraine.
Gabriel Rinaldi contributed reporting.