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U.S. Likely To Approve M1 Abrams Tanks For Ukraine In Reversal

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U.S. Likely To Approve M1 Abrams Tanks For Ukraine In Reversal

(CTN NEWS) – WASHINGTON – According to two U.S. officials who spoke to Reuters on Tuesday, the country looks to be about to reverse course and begin a procedure that may ultimately result in the shipment of dozens of M1 Abrams combat tanks to Ukraine.

Just a few days prior, the US had argued against deploying the Abrams, despite Kyiv’s demands and public pressure from Berlin in response to pleas for the deployment of German-made Leopard combat tanks.

Under anonymity, the officials stated that an announcement might occur as soon as Wednesday.

They claimed that the Abrams would probably be bought with money from a fund called the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), which enables the administration of President Joe Biden to buy weapons from the market rather than from the nation’s existing arsenal.

Wounded Ukrainian servicemen are seen during an evacuation, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, near Bakhmut in Donetsk region, Ukraine January 23, 2023. REUTERS/Oleksandr Ratushniak

One of the insiders suggested that the Biden administration might acquire the Abrams from allies who already own them through the USAI procedure, renovate them, and then transfer them to Ukraine.

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In negotiations this week in Germany, the US and its allies failed to persuade Berlin to give Ukraine its Leopard combat tanks, a crucial demand from Kyiv as it seeks to recover steam in its battle against Russian forces.

In anticipation of a new Russian attack, which Kyiv anticipates would occur soon, Ukraine claims that fully armoured Western combat tanks would give its troops more mobility and protection.

They might also aid Ukraine in regaining some ground lost to Russia.

Ukrainian servicemen are seen near the frontline, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, near Soledar in Donetsk region, Ukraine January 23, 2023. REUTERS/Oleksandr Ratushniak

According to U.S. officials, the Abrams was a bad option for this stage of the war since it was difficult to maintain, difficult for Ukrainians to operate, and relied on jet fuel.

However, the Pentagon underlined the difficulties the Abrams presented on Tuesday while declining to say whether Washington would send tanks to Ukraine.

According to Pentagon spokeswoman Brigadier General Pat Ryder, “the M1 (Abrams) is a complicated weapons system that is tough to maintain… that was true yesterday, it is true today, and that will be true in the future.”

“We continue to address the medium- and long-term military requirements for Ukraine with Ukrainians as well as our allies and partners,” Ryder added.

Ukrainian military paramedic attends Ukrainian serviceman who was wounded during shelling at the frontline, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, near Bakhmut in Donetsk region, Ukraine January 23, 2023. REUTERS/Oleksandr Ratushniak

Berlin had initially stated that it would only send the Leopard tanks to Ukraine if the United States agreed to send its own tanks. However, Berlin then changed its position.

According to Mark Cancian, a defense specialist at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, “the only reason the United States would transfer M1 tanks to Ukraine is to provide Germany the political support it needs to release the Leopard tanks.”

The news of the softening U.S. stance was revealed on the same day that sources claimed Germany will send Leopard 2 tanks to the Ukraine to defend against the Russian invasion and permit other nations, including Poland, to do the same.

Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrat party in Germany had been reserving its actions out of concern about actions that would provoke Moscow to escalate further.

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