The Biden administration is finalizing plans to send US-made Abrams tanks to Ukraine and could make an announcement as soon as this week, according to three US officials familiar with the deliberations.
The timing around the delivery of the tanks is still unclear and it normally takes several months to train troops to use the tanks effectively, officials said.
An announcement about the tanks could be part of an attempt to break a diplomatic logjam with Germany, which indicated to the US last week that it would not send its Leopard tanks to Ukraine unless the US also agreed to send its M1 Abrams tanks.
Top national security officials in the administration have been actively considering steps they could take to convince Germany to send the Leopards.
On Friday, at a meeting of Western defense leaders in Germany, the US and its allies failed to convince German officials to send the Leopards as part of Berlin’s next round of military assistance to Ukraine. But on Tuesday, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said “We are preparing our decision, which will come very soon” on the tanks.
Later on Tuesday, German newspaper Der Spiegel reported that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has decided to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine after “months of debate.”
CNN has reached out to the German government for comment.
Some background: The Biden administration has never taken the possibility of shipping American tanks entirely off the table, but US officials said publicly last week that now is not the right time to send the 70-ton M1 Abrams tanks because they are costly and require a significant amount of training to operate.
The tanks have instead repeatedly been floated as a long-term option — even as critics say the right time is now, as Ukraine braces for the possibility Russia will mobilize more troops and launch a new offensive.
Sky News Arabia was first to report the news that the US is considering sending the tanks.
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