The U.S. could announce the delivery of “a significant number” of M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine as early as this week, a U.S. official confirmed to Fox News on Tuesday.
The U.S. and Germany have bickered for weeks regarding which should provide heavy tanks to Ukraine amid spiking threats of renewed ground aggression from Russia. The Pentagon has argued that Abrams tanks require more complicated maintenance and would be more expensive to deliver to Ukraine than Germany’s Leopard tanks. German Leopards are already stationed in Ukraine’s neighboring Poland, for instance.
Nevertheless, Biden moved on the issue following a January 17 call with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and is now leaning toward providing tanks, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
The news comes as Germany itself was facing increased pressure to deliver the tanks, and a deal would now likely include Germany supplying a smaller number of Leopards while also giving allies like Poland the green light to share their own German-built tanks with Ukraine.
LAWMAKERS CALL FOR SENDING ABRAMS TANKS TO UKRAINE AS RUSSIA WARNS OF ‘GLOBAL CATASTROPHE’
The US Abrams tanks seen at the training ground in Nowa Deba on September 21, 2022, in Nowa Deba, Subcarpathian Voivodeship, Poland. (Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
British soldiers chat next to US Abrams tanks, on the second day of joint military exercises at the training ground in Nowa Deba, Poland on September 21, 2022. Widak/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Poland had threatened to deliver Leopard tanks to Ukraine even without German approval on Monday, a move Germany’s foreign minister had said the country “would not” oppose.
US HOSTS ALLIED DEFENSE OFFICIALS AS RUSSIA PLANS FOR MASSIVE OFFENSIVE IN WEEKS AHEAD
The new rush for aid comes as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine nears the one-year mark. Russia has also announced plans to expand the size of its military to 1.5 million troops in the coming years with a series of conscriptions.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced the troop increase last week, which is expected to be complete by 2026, according to Russian state news agency, TASS.
“Only by strengthening the key structural components of the Armed Forces is it possible to guarantee the military security of the state and protect new entities and critical facilities of the Russian Federation,” Shoigu said, according to Reuters.
A Leopard 2 tank of the Polish Army is seen with a soldier in camouflage near Pilsudski Square in Warsaw, Poland on 13 September, 2022. (Photo by STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
(STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
The US Abrams tanks and the German Leopard seen at the training ground in Nowa Deba on September 21, 2022, in Nowa Deba, Subcarpathian Voivodeship, Poland. (Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
The U.S. has not specified a timeline for how quickly tanks from either Germany or the U.S. would arrive and be ready for operating in Ukraine.