German Foreign Minister Analena Baerbock said in an interview with French TV LCI on Sunday that Germany would not have any problem if Poland sends its German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.
In response to the question of what would happen if Poland went ahead and sent its Leopard 2 tanks without German approval, Baerbock said: “This question has not been raised at the moment, but if they ask us, we will not prevent it.”
The German Foreign Minister added: “We know how important these tanks are, and that is why we are now discussing this issue with our partners.” “We must make sure that people’s lives are saved and the territory of Ukraine is liberated.”
Earlier on Sunday, German Chancellor Olaf Schultz reiterated that Berlin and Paris will support Ukraine in its fight against Russian occupation and will not allow Europe to return to “national hatred and rivalry.”
On his trip to Paris to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Franco-German honor, he said: “We will continue to provide all the support Ukraine needs as long as necessary. Together, as Europeans, we defend our European peace project.” ” Treaty of Elysée
German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said on Sunday that he expects a decision on the delivery of tanks to Ukraine soon.
Pistorius told Germany’s public broadcaster ARD that Berlin would not make a hasty decision because there were many factors to consider, including the domestic implications for the security of the German population.
Germany has come under considerable pressure both to deliver Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine and to allow other countries to send their German-made tanks to Ukrainian forces. But Berlin has been hesitant to send Highly advanced Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine due to concerns that it may lead to an expansion of Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Poland has repeatedly criticized Berlin for its hesitant stance.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told the Polish national news agency PAP: “Germany’s attitude is unacceptable. It has been almost a year since the start of the war. Innocent people are dying every day.” Russian bombs destroy Ukrainian cities. “Civilian targets are attacked, women and children are killed.”
Here are other updates on the war in Ukraine on Sunday, January 22:
Norway estimates over 300,000 casualties
About 180,000 Russian and 100,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed or wounded in the Ukraine war, Norwegian Defense Chief Erik Kristoffersen said.
“Russia’s losses are approaching 180,000 soldiers killed or wounded,” he said in an interview with TV2, without specifying how the numbers were calculated.
“Ukrainian casualties are probably more than 100,000 dead or wounded. In addition, Ukraine has about 30,000 civilians who have died in this terrible war,” Kristoffersen said.
It’s the highest estimate since US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley said in November that the Russian military had suffered more than 100,000 killed or wounded, with casualties “probably” similar on the Ukrainian side.
Neither Russia nor Ukraine have released their death tolls in months, and neither figure can be independently verified.
However, “Russia is capable of continuing (this war) for a long time,” Kristoffersen warned, citing Moscow’s weapons production and mobilization capabilities.
Macron does not rule out the delivery of French heavy tanks to Ukraine
French President Emmanuel Macron said his country is still considering the decision to deliver French Leclerc heavy tanks to Ukraine.
At a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Schulz on Sunday, Macron said he had asked the defense ministry to work on it, stressing that “nothing is excluded.”
However, the French president stressed that sending any hardware to Ukraine to push back Russian forces would have to be decided “collectively” and coordinated with allies including Germany.
Macron also said the deployment of heavy tanks in Ukraine should not weaken France’s own defense capability or escalate the conflict.
Germany has recently been under a lot of pressure to deliver battle tanks to Ukraine. Berlin has been hesitant to send the highly advanced German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine or to allow other countries to transfer them.
On Sunday, Schultz reiterated Berlin’s position on the matter, stressing that his country has always acted in close coordination with its allies.
The new German defense minister plans to visit Ukraine
German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said he was “certain” he would visit Ukraine soon. “Probably within the next four weeks,” he said Bild am Sonntag Newspaper
Pistorius, who took over on Thursday after the resignation of Christian Lambrecht, said his ministry was considering how best to prepare for any possible decision.
“We are in very close dialogue with our international partners, first of all with the United States, on this issue.”
Putin’s ally warned against supplying offensive weapons to Ukraine
The speaker of Russia’s lower house, Vyacheslav Volodin, warned that sending offensive weapons from the West to Ukraine would push the world into a “terrible war”.
Volodin said in the Telegram messenger: “If Washington and NATO countries prepare weapons to attack civilian cities and try to seize our territories, as they threaten, it will lead to retaliatory measures with the use of stronger weapons.”
“Delivering offensive weapons to the Kyiv regime will lead to a global catastrophe,” he said.
The head of the State Duma said: Moscow considers the attacks on the Ukrainian regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson, which Russia has annexed and occupied, as an attack on its territory.
Zelensky says the war caused a “new revival” of unity
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said at a ceremony marking the Day of Ukrainian Unity that he is confident of victory. On January 22, Ukrainians celebrate the 1919 union between the Ukrainian People’s Republic and the West Ukrainian People’s Republic.
In an emotional video, Zelensky said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine led to a “new revival of the unity of our Ukraine” as millions of Ukrainians stood together to defend the country.
He said: Each region protects the other region. And we all defend Kyiv together. And we all defend Kharkiv together.
British intelligence: Russia is trying to expand its military
Britain’s Ministry of Defense said in its regular intelligence update that Russia is likely to struggle to find the materials and staff it needs after Moscow announced plans to expand its armed forces.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu recently announced moves to expand the military, including increasing the number of soldiers from 1.15 million to 1.5 million.
“Shoygo’s plans show that the Russian leadership is likely to assess that the enhanced conventional military threat will last for many years beyond the current war in Ukraine,” the British report said.
However, Russia will likely struggle to staff and equip the planned expansion.
Since Russia’s war in Ukraine began last year, the British ministry has published daily intelligence reports on the war. Russia accused the UK of a disinformation campaign.
More DW coverage of the war in Ukraine
A new investigation by a German newspaper suggests that Bulgaria’s former government quietly provided arms to Ukraine immediately after Russia invaded Ukraine last year. DW is looking for news on the secret weapons equipment and what it means for Bulgaria.
Russian attacks on Ukraine’s energy grid have forced many cities to cut power to conserve energy. Residents of Kyiv talk about serious consequences for people on the street.
fb/dj (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)