Panzer ring exchange with Poland: Kiesewetter criticizes the “complicated and non-functioning” plan

criticism of the government
Kiesewetter: Panzer ring exchange with Poland “failing”

Poland is supplying Ukraine with tanks of Soviet design, but would like German equipment in return. However, according to CDU politician Kiesewetter, this exchange of rings is “failing”. One gambles away trust, he criticizes the course of the federal government.

Union foreign policy expert Roderich Kiesewetter sees the planned exchange of German tank rings with Poland to support Ukraine as “failing”. After three months of “reflection time”, the federal government only offered Warsaw the first tank deliveries from April next year, wrote the foreign policy spokesman for the Union faction on Twitter. From a total of 20 Leopard 2 tanks, only one should initially be delivered per month, from October 2023 then three per month.

In the ring exchange process, eastern allies should provide Ukraine with easy-to-use Soviet-style tanks, and Germany would then supply NATO partners with modern equipment as a replacement. The federal government has also planned such barter transactions with the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia and Greece.

In the case of Poland, President Andrzej Duda accused Berlin of not keeping promises. According to reports, Warsaw wanted the most modern version of the Leopard 2 tank, which the Bundeswehr hardly has in stock.

According to his office, Kiesewetter received the information about the German offer from the State Secretary in the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Szymon Szynkowski vel Sek. He recalled that in the first two months after the start of the Ukrainian war, Poland delivered almost 300 Soviet-designed T72 tanks to Ukraine.

Kiesewetter also criticized the ring exchange procedure itself. Nobody understands why Germany does not deliver Marder, Leopard and Fuchs tanks directly to the Ukraine and instead “lets valuable time go by with a complicated and obviously non-functioning ‘ring exchange'”.

(This article was first published on Tuesday, July 19, 2022.)