Germany has not received a request from Poland or any other country for permission to transfer the German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, a government spokesman said Monday.
“To this hour we have not received a request,“ Steffen Hebestreit told a news conference. “And if they ask, then there is a certain procedure. I can’t tell you whether that will take a few days or several months.“
He promised that any application would be “processed with the necessary speed that is required, but of course also with the necessary thoroughness that such procedures demand.”
Poland is one of 13 European countries with German Leopard 2 tanks in its inventory, according to the European Council on Foreign Relations think tank.
It has offered to send them to Ukraine and is trying to convince other countries to do the same, but Germany’s permission is typically required to re-export them.
On Sunday, the Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawieckic said that Europe was “wasting time” on the discussions.
However Hebestreit defended Berlin against such accusations.
“Maybe it’s good to weigh and consider a lot of things before you go recklessly into a step that you bitterly regret later,“ he said, adding that other countries, such as Spain, also have qualms about the potential tank transfer.