In Ramstein, Germany, a meeting of the “tank coalition” was held on Friday. On that day, the defense ministers of Poland, Ukraine and Germany signed a letter of intent regarding the establishment of a service center for Leopard 2 tanks in Poland. – This is an opportunity for the Polish defense industry – announced the head of the Ministry of National Defense Mariusz Błaszczak. The service hub is to be built in Gliwice. Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, commenting on the signing of the agreement, thanked the defense ministers of Poland and Germany for their “unwavering support”.
At the NATO base in Ramstein in Germany On Friday, another meeting is held at the level of defense ministers of about 40 countries that provide arms to Ukraine in repelling Russian aggression.
Heads of the defense ministries of Poland and Ukraine, Mariusz Blaszczak and Oleksiy Reznikov and German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius signed a letter of intent earlier on Friday regarding the creation of a Leopard 2 tank servicing center, which was announced by the Polish Ministry of Defense. The parties to the agreement agreed that they would co-finance the costs of operating the centre, which would amount to approximately EUR 150-200 million annually.
Błaszczak: thanks to the coordination of support, Ukraine defended itself against the Russian attack
– Another meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, chaired by the US Secretary of Defense, has ended Lloyd Austin. It’s been almost a year since defense ministers have been meeting NATO countriesbut also countries with a similar perception of the situation in Ukraine. It was a good time. There is no doubt that thanks to these meetings, thanks to the coordination of support for Ukraine, Ukraine defended itself against the Russian attack – said Mariusz Błaszczak at the press conference after the meeting.
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The head of the Ministry of National Defense noted, however, that “the situation in the war is still the same.” – There is no breakthrough. We are waiting for the Ukrainian counter-offensive, we support Ukraine. We are optimists. We believe that Ukraine is fighting for its independence, of course, but it is also fighting for the independence of Europe and the free world.
The minister also referred to the agreement on the establishment of a Leopard 2 service center in Poland. – This is a letter of intent regarding the creation and operation of a hub where the equipment that was transferred to Ukraine will be repaired, it is about Leopard 2 tanks. The argument I presented in the talks there was readiness to organize such a hub in Poland – said Błaszczak. He informed that the center will be built in “Bumar” in Gliwice.
He added that Zakłady Mechaniczne “Bumar-Łabędy” in Gliwice have “20 years of experience in servicing and repairing Leopard tanks”. So the crew is ready. Of course, spare parts are a challenge for all of us, but here too we are coordinating activities to meet it – he assured. He stressed that this is also an opportunity for the Polish defense industry.
Asked about the source of financing the service center, the minister said that “there is a proposal to create a fund from which money will be drawn to finance the service and repairs of the Leopards”. – Of course, we also have the option of using existing funds, primarily from the European Union fund, but also NATO funds, so the range is wide here – added the head of the Ministry of National Defence.
Ukrainian minister ‘grateful for unwavering support’
Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, commenting on the signing of the aforementioned letter of intent on Friday, thanked the defense ministers of Poland and Germany for their “unwavering support”.
“There was a meeting of the ‘tank coalition’. I am grateful to my colleagues Boris Pistorius and Mariusz Blaszczak for their unwavering support for Ukraine,” Reznikov wrote on Twitter. He expressed his conviction that the creation of a service center in Poland “will contribute to strengthening cooperation and expanding the capabilities of Ukrainian defenders.”
“The ‘armored fist’ created by joint efforts will stop the aggression of the terrorist regime against Europe and the entire free world. (…) Modern Western technologies will help to defeat Moscow. The sooner this happens, the sooner peace will reign,” the Ukrainian minister said.
Leopard 2 tanks for Ukraine
Leopard 2 are main battle tanks produced by the German concern Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, used by the armies of many countries in Europe, including several hundred units by Poland and Germany. Kiev will receive them in two versions – 2A4 and 2A6, each battalion of both types. Poland has already handed over 14 vehicles in the 2A4 version to the Ukrainian armed forces. In June last year, the German defense concern Rheinmetall together with Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) set up a similar service center in Janów on Lithuania. Vehicles of the Lithuanian armed forces and NATO troops stationed in the Baltic states are repaired there.
Main photo source: PAP/EPA/Thomas Lohnes / POOL