The German government has rejected criticism by Polish President Andrzej Duda, who accused Berlin of failing to substitute tanks Warsaw had delivered to Ukraine. It might take Germany a long time to produce the heavy equipment Poland seeks to receive from Berlin, government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit told journalists on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Duda told the German news outlet Die Welt that Berlin had failed to replenish the Polish stocks in a timely fashion after Warsaw “weakened” its own military potential by sending “a large number” of tanks to Ukraine. Most Polish tanks are German-made ones and Warsaw expected Berlin to step in, the Polish leader added.
“The federal government is perplexed,” Hebestreit said, responding to the Polish president’s comments. Berlin has “taken note” of Duda’s criticism “but that does not make it right,” he added.
Warsaw reportedly specifically requested the most modern Leopard 2A7 tanks. But Germany itself possesses a relatively small quantity of these heavy equipment pieces, Hebestreit explained, adding that producing additional ones would take time.