Poland to give Ukraine Leopard tanks as part of coalition
WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland has decided to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine as part of an international coalition, the Polish president said on Wednesday, as Warsaw seeks to play a leading role in reaching a consensus among Western allies on such support.
Kyiv has been requesting heavy military vehicles such as the German-made Leopard 2, which would represent a significant step-up in Western support to Ukraine.
"A company of Leopard tanks will be handed over as part of coalition-building," Andrzej Duda said during a visit to the western Ukrainian city of Lviv. "We want it to be an international coalition."
A company typically consists of 14 tanks.
Duda said that he hoped that the Polish tanks, together with tanks from other countries, would soon travel to Ukraine.
Speaking alongside Duda, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said that a joint decision was necessary, as one country would not be able to provide Kyiv with a sufficient number of tanks.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Saturday that Poland did not intend to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine without the formation of a broader coalition.
Any re-export of Leopard tanks requires approval by the government in Berlin.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Monday that he remained convinced of the need to coordinate weapons deliveries to Ukraine with allies.
However, a German government spokesman said on Wednesday that it was not aware of any requests from its allies to send Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine.
(Reporting by Alan Charlish, Pawel Florkiewicz, Anna Koper; Editing by Peter Graff, Conor Humphries and Alex Richardson)