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Boris Pistorius, German Minister of Defense, in Warsaw after meeting with Mariusz Błaszczak

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Boris Pistorius, the Minister of Defense of Germany, who is visiting Warsaw on Wednesday, said that next week, together with Minister Mariusz Błaszczak, they will meet the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov, and the countries that will form an alliance around transfer of Leopards to Ukraine. As he said, the point is to include as many countries as possible in this coalition.

Boris Pistorius after meeting with Mariusz Blaszczak he said it was a “very honest, open conversation”. – We talked about cooperation, about additional opportunities – he said.

– We help as Germany with the expected deliveries of Leopard 1A5 tanks, which will come from industrial resources from the Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark. It is a very positive development that we will increase our defense capabilities in this way Ukraine – said the German defense minister.

– We also have a joint project with Poland, namely – we will deliver the Leopard 2A6, Poland – 2A4 and we agreed with our colleague Mariusz (Błaszczak – ed.) that together with Oleksiy Reznikov, Ukraine’s defense minister, we will meet next week and invite you to this meeting those countries that will form the Leopard tank coalition, Pistorius announced. As he also assessed, “we are not at the goal yet.” – More countries will join us. The point is to gather as many countries as possible in this coalition,” Pistorius said.

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He also reminded that during his recent visit to Ukraine, he met with Ukrainian soldiers undergoing training in the operation of German military equipment – including Leopard tanks and Gepard anti-aircraft vehicles, which Germany transferred to Ukraine in October and November 2022. As he pointed out, Ukrainian soldiers are currently pretending to the training ground in Münster, where they will learn how to operate Leopard tanks.

The German politician said that the Ukrainians “teach Russia a lesson in terms of determination and courage.” – I look at Ukraine’s achievements with humility and great respect – he stressed, adding that meetings with Ukrainian soldiers made him realize how important it is to support Ukraine by NATO countries.

Pistorius: We have taken another step in the security dialogue

Pistorius also spoke about the importance of Polish-German relations and the fact that his visit to Warsaw takes place only a few weeks after he took up the position of defense minister.

– I wanted to show in this way how important relations with Poland are for us and how high we value them. And I realize how much responsibility we have as partners. It is about common interests: political, economic, but above all about securing NATO’s eastern flank. We are of the same opinion here and I am glad that we have taken another step in this dialogue,” Pistorius said.

He added that in this context, they also talked with Błaszczak about how the German arms industry could be directed to greater production for Ukraine. Pistorius also reported that he met with the head of the National Security Bureau, Jacek Siewiera. He noted that during this conversation they “expressed mutual interest” to revive the expert talks that were conducted at the technical level.

Boris Pistorius met with the head of the BBN, Jacek SiewieraPAP/Leszek Szymanski

Błaszczak before the meeting: talks about building a coalition

Minister Błaszczak also announced before the meeting with Pistorius that he would talk about “the coalition that we are building, which the president spoke about Andrzej Duda January 11 in Lviv.” – A coalition of countries that have Leopard tanks, which are ready to transfer these tanks to Ukraine – added the head of the Ministry of National Defense.

He said that both Poland and Germany would provide Ukraine with 14 such tanks. – We are a bit disappointed with this number from Germany – emphasized Błaszczak.

He said that during the conversation he would also raise the issues he discussed with our partners during two videoconferences.

– The last one, which I conducted together with the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov in Kiev. At that time, we also talked about the challenges facing the building of this coalition – added the minister.

– I will say straight that the biggest challenge is spare parts for tanks. The manufacturer of these spare parts is a German company. So I hope that Minister Pistorius will focus his activities on ensuring that the German industry meets the challenge and that it is possible to create service points where tanks would be repaired – noted the head of the Ministry of National Defence.

He pointed out that the training of Ukrainian crews on Polish tanks, on Polish Leopards, has been underway since Monday. – We will be prepared in a relatively short time to meet this condition, which concerns the coalition supporting Ukraine with Leopard tanks – said Błaszczak.

Main photo source: TVN24

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