Germany agrees to send tanks to Ukraine; US expected to announce it will send Abrams tanks

Both the United States and Germany are planning to send tanks to Ukraine to aid in its fight against Russia, according to The Associated Press.

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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced Wednesday that Germany had decided to not only send 14 of its Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine but to allow other nations that have the Leopard tanks to send their own.

Germany manufactures the tank and sells them to other European countries, but those countries must get permission to re-export the Leopard 2.

The German government said it would initially provide Ukraine with one company of Leopard 2 A6 tanks, or 14 vehicles. Eventually, Germany and its allies will send 88 tanks to Ukraine, government officials said.

“This decision follows our well-known line of supporting Ukraine to the best of our ability,” Scholz said after a Cabinet meeting in Berlin.

The announcement to send at least 14 tanks came after Germany faced international pressure to aid Ukraine in its nearly year-long war against Russia, The New York Times reported.

Poland, which is planning to send 14 Leopard tanks, had threatened to do so with or without Berlin’s permission.

However, on Tuesday, Poland formally requested German authorization for re-export.

According to The Washington Post, President Joe Biden will announce Wednesday that the U.S. plans to send 30 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, a senior U.S. official with knowledge of the situation said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

The source said the tanks likely would not be sent until the fall.

The decision to send the Abrams tanks comes just days after the Biden administration argued against sending the tanks.

Germany has said for weeks that it would not send the Leopard tanks if the U.S. does not send Abrams to Ukraine.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the decision to send the tanks followed a Jan. 17 call between Biden and Scholz in which Biden agreed to look into providing the Abrams tanks against the judgment of the Pentagon.

Military officials have said the tanks would be too difficult for Ukraine to quickly learn to use, and they may not have the resources to maintain the vehicles.

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