Poland is ready to service and repair tanks supplied to Ukrainian army

In a statement published on March 7 on its website, the Polish government quotes its Deputy Prime Minister Mariusz Blaszczak during a press conference before his departure to Sweden:"I have a scheduled meeting with Boris Pistorius, the Minister of Defense of Germany. The main issue we will discuss is the low availability of spare parts for Leopard tanks. What I expect of Minister Pistorius is that he will influence German industry so that these parts will be procured. We are prepared to set up a service hub in Poland to overhaul and service Leopard tanks delivered to Ukraine. The most important thing is to overcome the impasse. I'm counting on Minister Pistorius to cause the German armaments industry to supply parts to the hub, which will be established at the Bumar-Labędy plant".
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Canada offered four Leopard 2A4 tanks to Ukraine (Picture source: Radio Canada/Jean Bousseau)

On Tuesday, March 7, a press conference of Mariusz Blaszczak, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defense, was held at the Okęcie Military Airport before his departure for a meeting with the German Defense Minister and a session of the informal EU defense ministers' meeting in Stockholm.

Deputy Prime Minister noted: "A European Union defense ministers' meeting dedicated to the security of Europe will be held in Stockholm. We will talk about the support for Ukraine, but also about our European resilience to threats against security. There will be countries belonging to the European Union, but there will also be guests: the NATO Secretary General and the UN Deputy Secretary General. Thus, the discussion will concern the most crucial issues regarding our security."

The head of the Ministry of Defense underlined that the Polish arms industry is ready to service and overhaul Leopard tanks delivered to Ukraine: "The Bumar-Labędy plant is well equipped to carry out such activities. But there's a fundamental problem with the shortage of Leopard spare parts. This is a challenge that stands before Poland, and before Canada. But, certainly, this is a problem that only Germany, namely the German defense industry, can solve. I'm counting on a breakthrough, on overcoming the impasse together. Primarily, I'm relying on Minister Pistorius to get the German defense industry to produce the parts. The Polish armaments industry is also ready to manufacture them, but of course, Rheinmetall, the German company, has all the necessary documentation."

Deputy Prime Minister Blaszczak reminded that it was Poland that organized a coalition of countries that pledged to donate Leopard tanks to Ukraine: "As a reminder: I agreed with Minister Pistorius that I would be responsible for building a coalition of countries that have Leopard 2A4 tanks, and Minister Pistorius Leopard 2A6. It was I who led to the formation of such a coalition. 14 Polish tanks - 4 are already in Ukraine, and another 10 will arrive there later this week. 8 Canadian tanks, as the Canadians have decided to increase this number to 8. On top of that, 6 more Spanish tanks, as well as vehicles that will provide support for the tank battalion, which will be handed over by the Finns."

The main topic of the informal EU defense ministers' meeting in Stockholm on March 7-8 is the Russian aggression against Ukraine and the support to Kyiv (the session is attended by Ukrainian Defense Minister O. Reznikov). Among the issues to be discussed will be the countries' involvement in the activities of the EU Military Assistance Mission to Ukraine (EUMAM Ukraine) and the Estonian initiative for the joint purchase of 155mm cal. ammunition for Ukraine by EU countries.

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Mariusz Blaszczak, the head of the Ministry of Defense, underlined that the Polish arms industry is ready to service and overhaul Leopard tanks delivered to Ukraine (Picture source: APolish government)

Defense News March 2023