Kiev is facing difficulties in maintaining and repairing its Western-supplied tanks due to a dispute between Germany and Poland, according to a report by German news outlet Der Spiegel. The project, announced by German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, is already more than a month behind schedule, as Germany and Poland struggle to reach an agreement.
The repair hub for the German-made Leopard tanks was initially planned to be established on Polish territory by the end of May, but little progress has been made since the declaration of intent signed by Pistorius and his Polish counterpart Mariusz Blaszczak at a meeting in Germany. Last week, a draft contract agreement between Germany and Poland emerged, but has not been signed due to various controversies.
The report suggests that the delays are primarily caused by Poland, with German defense-industry giants blaming Warsaw for setting “unrealistic prices” for the repair services. According to industry sources cited by Der Spiegel, the Polish state-owned company PGZ charged over 100,000 euros for an initial checkup of a damaged tank, while a similar procedure would cost only about 12,000 euros in Germany. Additionally, the Polish side allegedly refused to provide any warranties for the repairs.
Der Spiegel’s report highlights the political motivations behind Poland’s demands, stating that the controversies surrounding the project are “obviously politically motivated.” It notes that Poland has accused Germany of being too slow in providing military aid to Ukraine in the past. However, the report does not present any concrete evidence to support its claims.
Despite the delays and disputes, several Ukrainian Leopard tanks in need of repairs have already arrived in Poland. German Defense Minister Pistorius raised the issue during his visit to Poland, demanding rapid progress on the project and expressing his expectation for a solution to be found within ten days. Polish Defense Minister Blaszczak described the talks as “not easy,” emphasizing that neither of the two ministers is responsible for overseeing the industry. He also stated that one of the three points of contention identified had been clarified, and that Poland is fully open to cooperation with Germany.
In conclusion, the project to establish a maintenance and repair hub for Ukrainian tanks in Poland is facing significant delays and conflicts between Germany and Poland. While Germany accuses Poland of setting unrealistic prices and refusing to provide warranties for the repairs, Poland argues that Germany has been slow in providing military aid to Ukraine. Despite these challenges, both countries remain committed to finding a solution and fostering cooperation in the defense industry.