AP: Biden could announce Abrams tanks to Ukraine as soon as Wednesday

The Biden Administration could announce a decision to send more than 30 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine as soon as Wednesday, although it could take months for them to be delivered, the Associated Press reported on Jan. 24, citing United States officials. 

According to the AP, one U.S. official said the tanks would be bought under an upcoming Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative package that provides longer-range funding for weapons and equipment to be purchased from commercial vendors, but that the details were still being worked out.

Earlier on Jan. 24, Politico reported that U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration is considering supplying Ukraine with around 30 Abrams tanks, citing an unnamed U.S. official familiar with the matter.

The Wall Street Journal also reported, citing unnamed U.S. officials, that the U.S. is leaning toward sending a significant number of M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine.

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

Also on Jan. 24, Germany decided to transfer Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, German magazine Der Spiegel reported, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter. At least one company of tanks, which usually includes about 14 tanks, will be provided by Germany, the report said.

Berlin will also authorize the supply of German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Kyiv by other countries, particularly Poland.

Modern Western tanks are expected to give Ukraine a major equipment advantage over Russia, which relies on old Soviet stock.