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Poland ‘already training’ Ukrainian soldiers on Leopard battle tanks, says defence minister

Poland has already started training Ukrainian personnel to operate German-built Leopard-2 battle tanks, media reports quoted Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak as saying.

His comments came in response to German media reports that said several Nato countries were reneging on their Leopard 2 delivery promises to Ukraine.

They also reported that Poland wanted to deliver the tanks without the additional crew training required, Poland’s pro-government TVP.info news website wrote, citing Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine.

Poland’s PAP news agency reported on Friday that Blaszczak had travelled to Kyiv to discuss plans to provide Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

The minister said Poland is already training Ukrainian soldiers in Poland to use the tanks. While it was not yet possible to say how exactly much time this would require, it would be “not a question of days and not of months”, but “a question of weeks,” he said.

The delivery modalities for the tanks themselves would be discussed with Nato allies at a meeting in mid-February, Blaszczak reportedly told the Ukrainian leadership in Kyiv.

Ukrainian Defence Minister Olexiy Resnikov and President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked him personally for Poland’s key role in making the delivery of Leopard tanks to Ukraine possible.

Poland is one of Ukraine’s staunchest allies as Kyiv tries to fight off Moscow’s invasion and win back territory.

Kyiv has repeatedly called for more and heavier weapons from Western governments but many hesitated before committing, with months of discussion over the question of providing modern battle tanks.

SourceSCMP
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