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BERLIN: Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Monday urged Germany to send Ukraine the weaponry it needed to take the fight to invading Russian soldiers, lacing a speech in Berlin with implicit criticisms of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government.

Morawiecki said Europe’s collective conscience would be burdened if it did not help Ukraine more. He was speaking at a gala marking conservative former German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaueble’s half-century in parliament.

“I call for decisive actions by the German government,” he said, to applause from the mostly conservative German legislators gathered in Berlin’s Jewish Museum for the gala.

“The battle for freedom and our future is raging as we speak… Tanks must not be left in storehouses, but placed in their hands.”

German defence minister quits as pressure grows for Ukraine aid

Germany has come under pressure from allies to allow the use of German-built Leopards in Ukraine. Eastern and central European NATO allies mainly rely on German-built Leopards, seen as the Western tanks most suited to forming the core of a new Ukrainian armoured force. Poland and Finland said last week they would like to send them, but that requires Berlin’s permission.

While Morawiecki did not name Scholz, whom he will not be meeting during his trip to Berlin, he implied that the government did not recognise the scale of the threat Europe faced from Russia nor the debt it owed Poland for the destruction of World War Two and the half-century of Soviet domination that followed.

“In Poland we have the feeling that to this day not all in Germany feel this and really understand how great a sacrifice we made,” he said.

Morawiecki’s Law and Justice party faces a national election this year in which Poland’s demand for vast war reparations from Germany are expected to play a major role.

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