BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany and Poland are still in talks on whether to set up a maintenance hub for Ukrainian Leopard tanks on Polish soil, the German defence ministry said on Wednesday, denying a newspaper report that Berlin had abandoned the plan.

German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius put pressure on those involved in the talks during a visit to Poland on July 3, saying that they must conclude within 10 days so Berlin could decide “in what direction to plan”.

This was seen by some as a veiled threat that the hub, where Ukrainian Leopard tanks damaged in the war would be repaired, could be established somewhere other than Poland.

The Handelsblatt newspaper reported earlier on Wednesday that the German government had pulled out of talks to set up the hub in Poland, citing people familiar with the matter who said the German side found Poland’s cost estimates to be disproportionate.

German and Polish companies were involved in the negotiations, as well as both countries’ governments, and the main problems were seen on the companies’ side.

Following months of wrangling, Germany agreed in January to provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 battle tanks, regarded as among the best in the West’s arsenal, as part of its military support for Kyiv in the wake of the Russian invasion.

(Reporting by Miranda Murray, Writing by Rachel More, Editing by Friederike Heine and Angus MacSwan)

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