(Reuters) – Poland will seek Germany’s permission to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine and will provide them whether or not Berlin agrees, its prime minister said on Monday.
WEAPONS AND DIPLOMACY
* Germany’s approval for the re-export of Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine is of secondary importance as Poland could send those tanks as part of a coalition of countries even without its permission, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Monday.
* European foreign ministers, meeting on Monday to discuss aid to Ukraine, pressed Berlin to let countries send German-made Leopard tanks, after Germany appeared to open the door to such shipments by allies.
* Russia and Estonia downgraded their diplomatic relations and expelled each other’s ambassadors after Moscow accused Tallinn of anti-Russian policies. Latvia also expelled Russia’s ambassador in solidarity with Estonia.
* Russia’s defence ministry said on Sunday that its forces were improving their positions in Zaporizhzhia region, a southern part of Ukraine.
* The top Russian-installed official in the occupied parts of the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine said he had visited the town of Soledar that Russia claimed to had captured earlier this month.
* Reuters could not independently verify the battlefield reports.
UKRAINE ANTI-CORRUPTION MEASURES
* The head of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s party said on Monday corrupt Ukrainian officials would be jailed, after a deputy infrastructure minister was held on suspicion of graft and a newspaper accused the military of overpaying suppliers.
(Compiled by William Maclean, Frances Kerry, Peter Graff; Editing by Robert Birsel)