The Washington Post said that the US administration announced its intention to provide Ukraine with Abrams tanks, in order to form a cover for sending German Leopard 2 tanks to Kyiv.

In an article posted at the Washington Post: “Biden was concerned and feared that the continuation of the public dispute over tanks for a long time would further negatively affect his primary priority for Ukraine, maintaining the unity of the West’s position under the leadership of the United States regarding the Ukrainian conflict”.

The article noted the phone call between Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on January 17, after which Biden tried several times to persuade Scholz to agree to send tanks, but the latter remained adamant and demanded joint action.

The Washington Post noted that, after that call, Biden asked National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Blinken what to do.

The article said: “It was Blinken himself who proposed this possible bypass… He offered his boss to announce Washington’s intention to send Abrams tanks as part of Kyiv’s long-term needs in a conflict that could drag on for years… Blinken stated that this will provide the necessary cover for Chancellor Scholz and will allow him to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine quickly, while the Pentagon will request the necessary time to prepare the Abrams tanks, train the Ukrainians to use them, and prepare the necessary logistics for their transfer.

“At the same time, European countries that own Leopard 2 tanks have increased pressure on Berlin to obtain permission from the manufacturer for re-export”.

However for Schultz, this was a serious political dilemma.

From the early days of the conflict, he tried not to go too far when it came to arming Ukraine, expressing his fears of Moscow’s possible retaliation.

Russia had previously sent a memorandum to the NATO countries because of the supply of weapons to Ukraine, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov indicated that any shipment containing weapons to Ukraine would become a legitimate target for the Russian forces.

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