11.07.2022, Niedersachsen, Munster: Soldaten stehen während des Auftaktbesuchs der Sommerreise von Bundesverteidigungsministerin Lambrecht (SPD) auf dem Truppenübungsplatz Munster auf einem Leopard-Panzer. Foto: Mohssen Assanimoghaddam/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

Poland has sharply criticized the federal government in connection with the planned exchange of rings for arms deliveries to Ukraine.

“The German promises to exchange tank rings have proven to be deceptive maneuvers,” Deputy Foreign Minister Szymon Szynkowski vel Sek told the “Spiegel” (Friday). From the Polish point of view, the German offers are unacceptable, so they are now relying on the help of other NATO partners.

First, the Germans offered the Poles tanks “older than the ones we gave Ukraine,” he said. This offer is “not to be accepted because we have no interest in deteriorating the condition of our armament and in training our soldiers on equipment from the 1960s”.

“A symbolic number of tanks was offered,” says the Deputy Foreign Minister. “It’s hard to take this as a serious proposal after we delivered over 200 tanks to Ukraine in two months.”

That’s why Poland prefers to talk to other NATO partners “who are really willing to help us.” According to him, Poland is already receiving tanks from the United States and Great Britain.

Larger purchases of planes and tanks from South Korea are also being prepared. Warsaw is interested in 48 FA-50 light combat aircraft, Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said on Friday after media reports.

“The first plane would arrive in Poland as early as next year. We are in the process of completing negotiations on this, we are close to completion,” he said.

There were also South Korean main battle tanks K2 “Black Panther”. “Already this year we will receive the first units, a total of 180 tanks in the first batch,” said Blaszczak. In the future, Poland will also build and develop these tanks under license.

The exchange of armored rings was supposed to enable quick deliveries of heavy war equipment, which is familiar to soldiers in Ukraine. Germany had announced that it would replace or help NATO partners in the east. However, it has been stagnating for weeks. No more public information was recently given in Berlin on the exact state of affairs.

“So what has to happen particularly quickly is support for Ukraine, because they are fighting a courageous fight,” said Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) on Friday in Neuburg an den Donau when asked about Poland’s criticism.