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Poland ‘convinced’ allies will provide Leopard tanks to Ukraine

Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said on Friday he was “convinced” Ukraine’s Western allies would manage to form a coalition to provide Leopard tanks to the war-torn country.

“I am convinced the formation of this coalition will be a success,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a crucial US-led meeting on boosting military aid to Ukraine at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

“This hope comes from the fact that defence ministers from 15 countries met on the sidelines of today’s conference and we discussed this matter,” he added.

Blaszczak said he was on his way to meet his German colleague and they would address the issue.

Kyiv wants the powerful Leopard tanks to press offensives against Russian troops, but the Kremlin has warned their delivery by the West would amount to an “extremely dangerous” escalation.

Poland and other countries such as Finland have their own stocks of the German-made Leopards yet they would need Germany’s approval to send them.

German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius told reporters earlier on Friday: “We still cannot say when a decision will be taken, and what the decision will be, when it comes to the Leopard tank.”

He also denied accusations that Germany alone was blocking tank deliveries.

The impression that “there is a united coalition and that Germany is standing in the way is wrong”, he said.