Biden: America is in the process of sending 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine


The US President Joe Biden said on Wednesday, that the United States will send 31 M1 Abrams combat tanks to Ukraine, hours after Germany confirmed that they would send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

Biden stressed that the Western tanks that the United States and its allies, led by Germany, decided to provide Ukraine with to counter the Russian invasion, “don’t constitute an offensive threat to Russia”.

Biden said that “Sending the US Abrams tanks and the German Leopard to Ukraine falls within the framework of the commitment of countries around the world, led by the United States, to help Ukraine defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity… This matter doesn’t constitute an offensive threat to Russia”.

Biden described Abrams tanks as “the most capable in the world,” in a speech at the White House.

He added that the United States would provide Ukraine with spare parts and equipment in addition to training.

The US president praised German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s earlier announcement that 14 Leopard tanks would be sent to Ukraine.

“Germany has really taken on more responsibility, and the German chancellor has been a strong voice for unity among Ukraine’s allies,” Biden said.

The United States confirmed until recently that it wasn’t ready to provide advanced heavy Abrams tanks to Ukraine to repel the Russian invasion, justifying this refusal with issues related to maintenance and training.

Ukraine has been asking the West for weeks to give it modern tanks to confront the Russian forces.

After being pressured, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced his agreement on Wednesday to give the green light to grant Ukraine Leopard tanks, stressing at the same time that he wanted to avoid an escalation that would lead to a war between Russia and NATO.

Moscow denounced Germany’s decision, describing it as very dangerous.

Bloomberg reported on Twitter that the United States will provide 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine in a deal worth $400 million.

Earlier on Wednesday, Germany announced its intention to send 14 Leopard 2 combat tanks to Ukraine.

Government spokesman Stephen Heppistreit said in a statement that the move was taken in coordination with international partners, adding that its goal was the rapid formation of two battalions of tanks for Ukraine, including Leopard 2 tanks.

Kyiv had appealed to hand over the German Leopard 2 tanks, but obtaining them even from the countries that possess them including Poland and Finland requires Berlin’s approval.

The Leopard 2 is distinguished by providing comprehensive protection for its crew from threats such as improvised explosive devices, mines or anti-tank fire.

In addition to containing cooling systems in the crew compartment, an auxiliary power generator, and a telephone that allows the crew to communicate outside.

For his part, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed, on Wednesday, the decision of his US counterpart, Joe Biden, to supply Kyiv with the American Abrams tanks, considering that the Ukrainian forces’ acquisition of these advanced heavy tanks is an important step to achieving final victory.

Zelensky wrote on Twitter, “Thank you, Joe Biden, for a strong new decision to provide Abrams tanks to Ukraine… Grateful to the Americans for their support”.

“Today the free world is united like never before around a common goal: the liberation of Ukraine,” he added.

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