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WSJ: US leaning toward giving Ukraine 'significant number' of Abrams tanks

by The Kyiv Independent news desk January 24, 2023 6:57 PM 2 min read
U.S. soldiers fire from an M1 Abrams main battle tank during the international military exercise "Allied Spirit 2022" at the Hohenfels training area on Jan. 27, 2022, in Germany. (Photo by Armin Weigel/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration leans toward sending a significant number of M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, according to unnamed U.S. officials cited by the Wall Street Journal.

The move could be announced as early as this week and would be "part of a broader diplomatic understanding with Germany in which Berlin would agree to send a smaller number of its own Leopard 2 tanks and would also approve the delivery of more of the German-made tanks by Poland and other nations," the report said.

On Jan. 22, U.S. lawmakers called for giving Ukraine Abrams tanks as a way to push Germany to authorize the delivery of German-made Leopard tanks to Ukraine.

There have been media reports that Germany would approve the delivery of Leopards if the U.S. supplied Abrams tanks to Kyiv. However, the German government has denied making such a demand.

The U.S. has so far refused to supply Abrams tanks to Ukraine, while Germany has failed to make a decision on supplying Leopard tanks.

On Jan. 24, ABC News reported that 12 countries have agreed to give Ukraine around 100 Leopard 2 tanks after Berlin approves. The agreements were made at the Ramstein defense summit, according to the official cited by the publication.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Jan. 22 that if Berlin doesn't authorize the tank supplies, Poland will create a coalition of allies without Germany to provide Leopards to Kyiv anyway.

Germany is expected to approve Poland's request to deliver German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine on Jan. 25, Bloomberg reported, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

"Berlin wants to make a decision on the issue quickly to quell growing frustration among allies, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the decision is private," Bloomberg wrote.

Since the beginning of Russia’s all-out invasion in February 2022, the German government has been criticized for delaying and blocking arms supplies to Ukraine.

At Ramstein, Germany stops short of giving Ukraine Leopard tanks, despite mounting pressure from allies
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