The US will deliver 31 M1 Abrams main battle tanks to Ukraine. US President Joe Biden said on Wednesday after the German government announced the delivery of German Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. The US delivery is the size of a Ukrainian tank battalion, Biden said in the White House.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) announced on Wednesday that initially 14 German Leopard 2 main battle tanks from Bundeswehr stocks would be delivered to Ukraine. The federal government had rejected such a delivery for weeks and emphasized that it did not want to go it alone on a national level.
US politicians had urged Biden to supply Abrams tanks to Ukraine to enable a German supply of Leopard tanks. So far, the US government has refused to provide Ukraine with Abrams tanks.
The Department of Defense in Washington argued that the main battle tank was too expensive, required extensive training, was difficult to maintain and, with its turbine engine, consumed a lot of fuel.
The delivery of the Abrams tanks to Ukraine, according to Biden, "will take some time". The time should now be used to ensure that the Ukrainians are fully prepared to "integrate the Abrams tanks into their defense," the US President said. The Abrams tanks are the most capable tanks in the world, but they are also extremely complex to operate and maintain."
Biden also thanked Scholz for his "leadership" and "unwavering commitment" to supporting Ukraine. Germany has really made itself strong, the Chancellor is a strong voice for unity and a close friend, said the US President. "Germany didn't force me to change my mind," Biden said when asked by a journalist about the US government's change of heart on the delivery of Abrams tanks. "The United States stands with its allies and partners and will continue to do whatever we can to support Ukraine," Biden said.
According to US President Joe Biden, the delivery of main battle tanks to Ukraine is not an "offensive threat to Russia". "When Russian troops return to Russia, they will be where they belong," Biden said in Washington on Wednesday. Then the war would be over. "That's what we all want - a just and lasting end to this war," Trump said. "We will not allow one nation to seize its neighbor's territory by force."