Poland exerting pressure on Germany works and Scholz's Leopard decision proves it

Germany's Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Not thanks to benevolence, neither prudence, nor German orderliness but it was the pressure Poland has been exerting on Germany ever since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, that pushed Berlin and Chancellor Olaf Scholz into finally making the last-minute decision of sending Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine – a perhaps overlooked fact that is swiftly fading away into forgotten memory to the hopes of Scholz himself.

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In the early days of Russia’s heinous invasion, Germany had been ‘magnanimous’ enough to offer 5,000 helmets to the Ukrainian army. Indeed it took almost a year for the Polish Prime Minister and Poland to knock this level of parsimonious conduct out of the heads of German decision-makers, with Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the helm of ‘team prevaricate’.

On Sunday PM Morawiecki announced that if Germany did not consent to the transfer to Ukraine of Leopard 2 tanks, Poland would build a “smaller coalition” of countries ready to send tanks and other equipment. Mateusz Morawiecki said that Poland would not look on passively while Ukraine bleeds and that Ukraine and Europe would win the war with the help of Germany or without it.

PM Morawiecki has called Germany's position “unacceptable”.

“Almost a year has passed since the outbreak of war... Evidence of the Russian army's war crimes can be seen on television and on YouTube. What more does Germany need to open its eyes and start to act in line with the potential of the German state?” PM Morawiecki pleaded.

It looks like the biting embarrassment and the toll he would have to suffer at voting stations in the approaching German elections could have been too much for Olaf Scholz to handle. Hence, he gave in. Nonetheless, he can now bask in the pleasant aura of benevolence and is likely eager for the less-than-appropriate disposition that was Germany’s deliberate tardiness, to go forgotten.