Germany plans to send tanks to Ukraine for the first time, which Kiev will hopefully change.
The country will send at least 14 Leopard 2 tanks, marking the first time German tanks have been used on the battlefield in Europe since World War II.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak welcomed the move, saying that together with Britain’s Challenger 2 they would “strengthen Ukraine’s defensive firepower”.
Meanwhile, the US is expected to send at least 30 M1 Abrams tanks, with an announcement from Joe Biden possibly today.
The current schedule remains unclear and it could take many months – even years – for the tanks to reach the battlefields.
The Kremlin struck back at both nations. A spokesman said Germany’s decision would “do no good” and would “leave a lasting mark” on relations with Russia.
The Russian ambassador to the US said their decision was “another blatant provocation”.
So far, the US and Germany have resisted pressure to send tanks to Ukraine.
But the news comes after Ukraine called for heavier weapons and said main battle tanks could help Kyiv’s troops retake territory from the Russians.
German officials were reluctant to send their tanks unless the US also agreed.
“If the Germans keep saying we will only send or release Leopards on the terms Americans send Abrams, then we should send Abrams,” Democratic Senator Chris Coons told Politico Tuesday.
Germany has been engaged in a political debate on the issue for months – fearing that sending tanks could escalate the conflict and directly involve NATO.
Meanwhile, there are fears in the US that the Abrams tanks will require extensive training and maintenance because they are high tech.
Britain has already sent Challenger Two tanks to Ukraine.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed the commitment earlier this month during a meeting with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
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