The decision concerning supplying Ukraine with the M1 Abrams American tanks is expected this week. Ukraine may get be as many as 30 such tanks.
A third person familiar with the issue told Politico that the tanks will most likely be handed over to Ukraine within the framework of the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative.
The program allows Washington to finance the purchase of weapons and equipment for Ukraine, as opposed to pulling them from existing U.S. stockpiles.
In recent weeks, U.S. officials have publicly cited the difficulties of providing the M1s, the Army’s main battle tank. They have said the Abrams made little operational sense for Ukraine at this moment because they guzzle jet fuel and require long supply lines to maintain.
The Wall Street Journal was one of the first media outlets to report that the Biden administration was leaning toward sending “a significant number” of M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine.
This decision is expected to become a part of a “broader diplomatic agreement” with Germany, according to which Berlin will agree to send a smaller quantity of its own Leopard 2 tanks and approve the supply of a larger quantity of these tanks by Poland and other countries.
Meanwhile, Olaf Scholz, the chancellor of Germany, made a decision to supply Ukraine with the Leopard 2 combat tanks. Moreover, this Wednesday, Germany may announce its approval of re-export of its tanks to Ukraine from other European countries.