After weeks of debate within the Biden administration and building pressure from Germany and some members of Congress, the administration has announced that it will send 30 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine in what is being seen as a breakthrough. The debate as to whether or not to send Western-made tanks to Ukraine has also been a source of division amid NATO allies.
Germany has been indicating for several weeks that it will not send its sophisticated Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine unless the U.S. sends the world’s most powerful tank, the M1 Abrams, first. Earlier this week, Germany softened its stance a little, allowing Poland to send its reserve of Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine if Warsaw wished to do it. However, Berlin continued to refrain from sending its own tanks.
Now that Washington has decided to send M1s, Germany has agreed to send 14 of its Leopard 2 A6 tanks to Kyiv.
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While it is unclear when Germany and Washington intend to deliver their respective tanks, Russian President Vladimir Putin has made it clear that Moscow would take the West’s decision to send tanks to Ukraine as an escalation of the war, saying this week that “global catastrophe” could be unleashed if NATO and Western allies continue to supply Ukraine with heavy weapons and equipment.
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