“The United States will send 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, “the equivalent of a Ukrainian battalion. It’s a very important thing because it will strengthen the army’s ability to defend its territory.” This was announced by President Joe Biden, stressing that the Abrams are “the most powerful tanks in the world” and their supplies will “Kiev’s ability to defend of its territory and will enable it to achieve its strategic objectives”.
Biden then specified that the United States will begin training the Ukrainian army in the use of these assets “as soon as possible,” stressing that “it will take time” for the tanks to be deployed on the battlefield.
Biden assured that the deployment of the tanks “is not an offensive threat” against Russia, but will help Ukraine “defend its sovereignty”. “That’s what it’s all about,” he stressed, “to help Ukraine defend and protect its territory. It is not an offensive threat to Russia, there is no offensive threat.” Then the President returned to the statement that “this war should end today, that is what we all want to end this war”.
“Germany didn’t force me to change my mind. We wanted to make sure we were all together,” Biden specified, referring to Berlin’s deployment of Leopard tanks. “Germany has taken a big step forward. The chancellor spoke out in a very strong voice for unity.”
“Russia expected us to separate,” and instead, “we are fully, fully and fully united. As always, we remain united and resolute in our beliefs and in our cause,” Biden added.
WHITE HOUSE: ‘TRAINING IN WEEKS NOT MONTHS’ – Training of Ukrainians for M1 Abrams tanks could begin in ‘weeks not months’ According to John Kirby, spokesman for the White House National Security Council, the decision to supply Ukraine with advanced Western armored systems was both a diplomatic and military effort that had been “prepared for several weeks”.
Kirby told CNN, “There was a lot of diplomacy in today’s announcement. The decision you saw today from both Germany and the United States came through many, many discussions with the Germans and our allies over several weeks.”
Kirby also said it will likely take the Pentagon “weeks, not months” to finalize a tank training plan. “How long will it last? the existing training regime,” said the spokesman.
When asked whether the United States would also comply with Ukrainian demands for fighter jets to be delivered to Kyiv, Kirby did not go into detail, simply saying: “We are in constant discussions with the Ukrainians about their capabilities and, as I said, they are developing further based on changing conditions. I can’t blame the Ukrainians for wanting more and more systems. It’s not the first time they’ve talked about hunting, but I have no announcements to make in that regard.”