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CNN: US to announce new military aid package
The U.S. is reportedly ready to announce “one of its largest” military aid packages to Ukraine, CNN reported, citing two undisclosed U.S. officials.
However, the U.S. has not shown any indication that it’s preparing to send its Abrams tanks, according to CNN.
Ukraine’s request for tanks has been front and center of Kyiv’s diplomatic requests over the last months amid a potential new Russian offensive.
The largest US security package, announced on Jan. 5, totaled more than $3 billion, including Bradley infantry fighting vehicles.
Earlier on Jan. 18, the European Parliament urged Germany to transfer long-pledged Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine “without further delay.”
The members of the European Parliament “stress that Ukraine is defending its territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders and urgently needs military aid and heavy weaponry to win the war.”
Also, on Jan. 18, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that allies need to step up support to Ukraine.
“If we want peace … then we need to provide military support to Ukraine,” the NATO chief said. He said that NATO and Germany “are in constant dialogue” on the tank delivery.
U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed late on Jan. 14 the delivery of 14 Challenger 2 tanks and around 30 AS90 self-propelled 155mm howitzers as part of a major new package of military aid Ukraine.
The tank squadron will be delivered to Ukraine in the coming weeks, with the self-propelled artillery following soon after, the U.K. Prime Minister’s Office said.
Recently, Ukraine and some Western countries have increased pressure on Germany to send heavy tanks to Kyiv.
On Jan. 10, Politico reported that France was putting increasing pressure on Berlin ahead of a Franco-German summit on Jan. 22, while Poland also exerted pressure on Germany by publicly calling for a broad coalition among Western allies to hand over Leopards.
On Jan. 11, Polish President Andrzej Duda said that Poland planned to supply a company of modern German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. But since these tanks are produced in Germany, sending them to Ukraine requires approval from the German government.
Bloomberg reported on Jan. 13, citing two unnamed officials familiar with the matter, that Germany will likely decide on whether to supply Leopard tanks to Ukraine ahead of the Rammstein summit, scheduled for Jan. 20.