March 28
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U.S. President Joe Biden has announced plans to send Ukraine 31 M1 Abrams tanks, CNN reports.

According to him, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin recommended that he take this step because it would strengthen Ukraine's ability to defend its territory and achieve its strategic goals.

Abrams tanks are the most capable tanks in the world, he said. They are also extremely difficult to operate and maintain, so the U.S. is also providing Ukraine with the parts and equipment needed to effectively support these tanks on the battlefield, training Ukrainian troops on these logistics, logistics and maintenance issues as soon as possible, Biden said.

According to senior administration officials, it will take months to deliver the tanks and will require extensive training for Ukrainian troops on their operation and maintenance. The U.S. must manage the complex supply chain of components needed for the tanks.

Getting these tanks to the battlefield will take time. According to Biden it is time to make sure the Ukrainians are fully prepared to integrate Abrams tanks into their defenses, Biden added.

He assured that support for Ukraine is not an offensive threat to Russia. U.S. support, he said, is intended to help Ukraine defend its sovereignty.

The president added that he believes Russian troops should return where they belong in Russia. 

As part of what he called a worldwide effort to support Ukraine, Biden thanked Germany for stepping up assistance.

Germany announced it would send its Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine if the United States offered its tanks.

The German chancellor has become a strong voice for unity, he said. Biden expressed his gratitude to Chancellor Scholz for providing German Leopard 2 tanks and will lead the effort to organize a European contribution of two tank battalions to Ukraine. Biden thanked the chancellor for his leadership and his continued commitment to the collective efforts to support Ukraine.

He said Germany has not pressured him to announce that he is sending Abrams tanks to Ukraine. 

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