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Germany rebuffs Polish complaints about long wait for replacement tanks

Germany is rejecting suggestions that it is reneging on a promise to provide Poland with tanks to make up for those that Warsaw has delivered to Ukraine.

Polish President Andrzej Duda told German broadcaster Welt that he was “very disappointed” Berlin had not fulfilled its promise on the delivery of Leopard tanks to Poland.

Speaking after a meeting with her Polish counterpart in Berlin on Tuesday, Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock says the issue has been discussed in order to resolve “misunderstandings.”

She says Germany could not supply heavy weapons “at the press of a button” as there were numerous questions to consider, not least what arms are actually available.

Ukrainian tanks move down a street in Irpin, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, April 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Poland’s Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau says his country regretted that the situation with regard to arms deliveries to Ukraine was “not as dynamic” as hoped, but acknowledges that “the devil lies in the detail” on the issue.

Poland gave Soviet-designed T-72 tanks to Ukraine with the expectation that NATO, the US and Germany would fill that void.

Germany has agreed to several similar circular swaps with allied countries such as Slovenia and the Czech Republic, who in turn are sending older Soviet-era tanks to Ukraine.

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