In reversal, U.S. agrees to send 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine & More Trending News


WASHINGTON, Jan 25 (Reuters) – The United States introduced on Wednesday it should provide Ukraine with 31 superior M1 Abrams tanks in a matter of months, a choice that helped break a diplomatic logjam with Germany over how greatest to assist Kyiv in its warfare towards Russia.

President Joe Biden introduced the choice in remarks on the White House, saying the tanks are wanted to assist the Ukrainians “improve their ability to maneuver in open terrain.”

Biden thanked Germany for its resolution to provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks. “Germany has really stepped up,” he mentioned.

(*31*)paragraph-4″ class=”text__text__1FZLe text__dark-grey__3Ml43 text__regular__2N1Xr text__large__nEccO body__full_width__ekUdw body__large_body__FV5_X article-body__element__2p5pI” fashion=”font-size:20px”>The United States had been cool to the idea of deploying the difficult-to-maintain Abrams tanks but had to change tack in order to persuade Germany to send its more easily used Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

Still, the Abrams — among the most powerful U.S. tanks — will not be heading to Ukraine anytime soon.

Senior administration officials who briefed reporters on the decision said it will take months, not weeks, for the Abrams to be delivered and described the move in terms of providing for Ukraine’s long-term defense.

Members of the Ukrainian military will be trained on using the Abrams in a yet-to-be determined location. While a highly sophisticated and expensive weapon, the Abrams is difficult to maintain and provides a logistical resupply challenge because it runs on jet fuel.

The whole value of a single Abrams tanks can fluctuate, and will be over $10 million per tanks when together with coaching and sustainment.

The selections by Washington and Berlin come because the Western allies assist Ukraine put together for a potential spring counter-offensive to strive to drive Russia out of territory it has seized.

“There isn’t any offensive risk to Russia,” Biden said.

Senior administration officials said Biden had spoken to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on multiple occasions this month about assistance to Ukraine. He talked again on Wednesday to Scholz as well as to British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and French President Emmanuel Macron, both of whom are close allies in helping Ukraine.

“Today’s announcement actually was a product of fine diplomatic conversations as a part of our common and ongoing shut consultations with allies and companions on safety help to Ukraine,” mentioned one official.

More bulletins from U.S. allies on extra armored car functionality are anticipated, the official mentioned.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov mentioned any Abrams shipments can be a waste of cash as they “burn” like different tanks.

“I’m sure that many consultants perceive the absurdity of this concept. The plan is disastrous by way of know-how,” he said. “But above all, it overestimates the potential it should add to the Ukrainian military. These tanks burn similar to all of the others,” Peskov told reporters.

A source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday the U.S. decision on Abrams was part of conversations with the Germans about their reluctance to provide tanks and to demonstrate that the U.S. commitment was significant.

“The United States was keen to make a big dedication to help them in making theirs,” the source said. “The tanks are an necessary functionality and if it took U.S. management then that is what we have been keen to do.”

The United States will provide the tanks through a fund known as the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which allows Biden’s administration to buy weapons from industry rather than taking them from existing U.S. weapons stocks. Buying them is a slower process.

Reporting by Steve Holland, Phil Stewart, Idrees Ali and Doina Chiacu
Editing by Alistair Bell

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Phil Stewart

Thomson Reuters

Phil Stewart has reported from greater than 60 nations, together with Afghanistan, Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, China and South Sudan. An award-winning Washington-based nationwide safety reporter, Phil has appeared on NPR, PBS NewsHour, Fox News and different applications and moderated nationwide safety occasions, together with on the Reagan National Defense Forum and the German Marshall Fund. He is a recipient of the Edwin M. Hood Award for Diplomatic Correspondence and the Joe Galloway Award.

In reversal, U.S. agrees to send 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine

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In reversal, U.S. agrees to send 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine

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