President Biden is set to deliver remarks on the United States’s “continued support for Ukraine” on Wednesday as the U.S. prepares to send tanks to the country to provide much-needed firepower for Ukrainian troops fighting off Russian invaders.
The U.S. is poised to send dozens of its top-of-the-line battle tank, the M-1 Abrams, to Ukraine after insisting for weeks that the systems were too complex to operate and maintain.
Ukraine has been asking for the Abrams tanks for months amid fierce fighting in the country’s disputed east.
U.S. officials cautioned that it will take some time to deliver the tanks and train Ukrainian soldiers to operate and maintain them effectively. But once operational, the tanks will give Ukraine major new capabilities to launch offensives against dug-in Russian troops.
Germany said on Wednesday that it would also send 14 of its Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine, and approve re-export of Leopards from partner countries like Poland.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told a German TV network that the tanks from Western allies will provide a much-needed morale boost to his soldiers on the front lines.
The military effort overcame misgivings about sending heavy weaponry that Kyiv sees as crucial to defeat Russia’s invasion but Moscow casts as a “dangerous provocation.”
Biden’s address comes ahead of the anniversary of Russia’s invasion next month.
The U.S. has committed more than $26.7 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden administration.
The event is scheduled to begin at noon ET.
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