Specifically, the United States is delivering 31 M1 Abrams main battle tanks to Ukraine. Berlin will initially deliver 14 Leopard 2A6 tanks – and give the necessary approval for the delivery of Leopard tanks from other NATO countries’ stocks. US President Joe Biden announced the delivery of the US tank himself. The US delivery is the size of a Ukrainian tank battalion, Biden said at the White House.
However, according to a US government official, “months” must pass before the US main battle tanks are actually delivered. German tanks are also not expected to be ready for action in Ukraine for about three months. To do this, Ukrainian units must first be trained on the devices.
Ukraine: what is needed for peace?
Biden: “It’s going to take some time”
The delivery of Abrams tanks to Ukraine, according to Biden, “will take time”. The time now must be used to ensure that Ukrainians are fully prepared to “integrate Abrams tanks into their defenses,” Biden said in Washington on Wednesday. “The Abrams tanks are the most capable tanks in the world, but they are also extremely complex to operate and maintain.” The US government previously announced that it would supply Ukraine with 31 M1 Abrams main battle tanks. The US is ordering the tanks from industry, so it was unclear when they would arrive in Ukraine.
Scholz (SPD) announced on Wednesday the delivery of initially 14 German Leopard 2 battle tanks from Bundeswehr stocks to Ukraine. He rejected such a surrender for weeks and stressed that he did not want to do it alone – even at a time when not only the Union opposition but also his coalition partners FDP and Greens had long been pressuring him and sometimes lashing out at him with forceful words.
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Berlin wants to deliver 14 Leopard tanks to Ukraine
Scholz was eventually successful with his hesitation, because the U.S. turned around after initially consistently refusing to supply tanks. In doing so, the United States is responding to the German Chancellor’s fears that delivering German tanks only through European states could expose Germany or Europe to Russia in particular.
Scholz could also keep in mind unpredictable medium-term domestic political developments in the United States. With the delivery of the tanks, the United States pledged to support Ukraine side by side with its European partners, even after a possible change of heart and, above all, a change of power in two years.
Scholz: Will deliver Leopard tanks to Ukraine
Speaking to the German Bundestag, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stated that Germany would supply Ukraine with Leopard 2 main battle tanks. In addition, they want to allow partner countries to deliver these tanks and take care of training, maintenance and ammunition supplies. Scholz emphasized that the principle is to make what is necessary possible while at the same time avoiding an escalation in a conflict between NATO and Russia. “We will continue to observe this principle,” Scholz said.
Biden thanks Scholz
Biden was now thanking Scholz for delivering the Leopard 2 tanks. “I want to thank the chancellor for his leadership and his steadfast commitment to our collective efforts to support Ukraine,” the US president said. Scholz is “a strong voice for unity” and a “close friend”, also with a view to helping Ukraine in the future.
Biden had recently been urged by US politicians from both parties to deliver Abrams tanks to Ukraine to allow for the German delivery of Leopard tanks. Until now, the US government has refused to supply Ukraine with Abrams tanks.
The Department of Defense in Washington argued that the main battle tank was too expensive, required extensive training, was difficult to maintain and, with its turbine engine, consumed too much fuel.