The leaders of Poland and Lithuania said they are optimistic that Germany will authorize the export of Leopard tanks to Ukraine, as business tycoons and policymakers came together for the annual World Economic Forum Monday.
“If we still send a lot of military equipment for the defenders of Ukraine, cutting edge military equipment, they still have this potential to stop Russians,” Polish President Andrzej Duda said Tuesday during a panel session in Davos, Switzerland.
His comments came after Poland announced last week that it plans to send Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine. The country has called on the German government to supply “all sorts of weapons” to Kyiv, as it needs permission from Germany to export German-manufactured Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.
Duda said he hopes “there are a few partners, a few allies, who will give tanks to Ukraine,” when asked about his expectations as German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has also attended the summit in Davos.
“We hope that producer of the tanks Germany will also participate in this, in my opinion, very good idea. I was asked by Volodymyr Zelensky for that military support few times, he said to me Andrzej we need modern tanks because it’s the only way to stop the Russian invasion now,” Duda added.
Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said that “someone has to take this leadership, to take the decision in order to support Ukraine,” when asked about divisions within the alliance.
“I strongly believe that Chancellor Scholz will decide on this and I was a witness of a very important break point or turning point in the thinking or mentality of Germany,” he added.
Some context: Numerous countries in the Western alliance have pledged to soon send tanks for the Ukrainian military to use in its efforts to defend against Russia’s invasion.
France, Poland and the United Kingdom for the first time answered Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s longstanding call to supply modern battle tanks to Kyiv.
However, Scholz insisted that any such plan would need to be fully coordinated with the whole of the Western alliance, including the United States.
Scholz is scheduled to make an address at the World Economic Forum Wednesday.