January 30, 2023

Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine

2 min read

U.S. soldiers stand next to an M1 Abrams tank in a wooded area during a multinational exercise in June 2022 in Hohenfels, Germany.
U.S. soldiers stand next to an M1 Abrams tank in a wooded area during a multinational exercise in June 2022 in Hohenfels, Germany. (Nicholas Armour/dpa/Getty Images)

It’s the Biden administration. Finalizing shipping plans American-made Abrams will send tanks to Ukraine and could make an announcement as soon as this week, according to three United States officials familiar with the discussions.

Officials said the timing of the actual delivery of the tanks is still unclear and it usually takes several months to train troops to use the tanks effectively.

The announcement of the tanks may be part of an effort to break a diplomatic deadlock with Germany, which signaled to the US last week that it would not send its Leopard tanks to Ukraine unless the US agreed to send its M1 Abrams tanks. Be done.

Top national security officials in the administration are actively considering steps they can take to convince Germany to send the Leopards.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said Tuesday that she doubts the issue of the tanks will be resolved relatively soon.

Asked what was going on with the supply of tanks – German Leopards or US Abrams – Sherman did not give a specific answer, but said, “I think you should see some of these issues resolved in the coming days. will.”

“It’s difficult for everybody. Each country, as President Biden has said, has to make its own decisions about what weapons it wants to provide,” Sherman said in remarks Tuesday at the City Club of Cleveland, Ohio.

Some background: On Friday, at a meeting of Western defense leaders in Germany, the US and its allies failed to convince German officials to send Leopards as part of the next round of military aid from Berlin to Ukraine. But on Tuesday, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said “we are preparing our decision, which will come very soon”.

Sky News Arabia was the first to report that the US was considering sending tanks.

The administration has never taken the possibility of taking U.S. tanks off the table entirely, but U.S. officials said publicly last week that now is not the right time to send the 70-ton M1 Abrams tanks because they are expensive and They need special training. to drive.

Instead, tanks have repeatedly been pitched as a long-term option — even as critics say now is the right time, as Ukraine prepares for the possibility that Russia will mobilize more troops. And will make a new attack. Britain has already announced it will send 12 of its Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine, previously seen as a red line for the US and its European allies.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly asked Western allies for advanced tanks as his country braces for a major Russian counteroffensive expected in the spring.

CNN’s Jennifer Hensler contributed to this report.

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