Titelbild: US- Panzer M1 “Abrams”
The US is “leaning toward” sending a significant number of Abrams M1 tanks to Ukraine, US officials have told the Wall Street Journal.
An announcement on the deliveries is expected to come as soon as this week.
The announcement would be part of a broader diplomatic understanding+++ with Germany in which Berlin would agree to send a smaller number of its own Leopard 2 tanks and would also approve the delivery of more of the German-made tanks by Poland and other nations. It would settle a trans-Atlantic disagreement over the tanks that had threatened to open fissures as the war drags into the end of its first year.
The shift in the US position follows a call on 17 January between President Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in which Biden agreed to look into providing the Abrams tanks against the judgment of the Pentagon. A senior German official said that the issue had been the subject of intense negotiation between Washington and Berlin for more than a week and appeared to be on the way to resolution.
Poland to ask EU for compensation for supplying tanks
Poland will ask the EU for compensation for the cost of Leopard 2 tanks it wants to send Ukraine, the Polish prime minister said on Tuesday.
“We will apply for reimbursement to the European Union, it will be another test of goodwill,” Mateusz Morawiecki told a news conference.
Morawiecki said that he hoped there would be a quick response from Germany over whether Warsaw can re-export the tanks, Reuters reports. “I hope that this answer from Germany will come quickly, because the Germans are delaying, dodging, acting in a way that is difficult to understand.
“We can see that they do not want to help Ukraine defend itself in a wider way.”
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Russia’s ambassador to Estonia, Vladimir Lipaev, has accused the west of arming the Baltic state with weapons that could strike at St Petersburg.
Russian state-owned news agency Tass quotes the ambassador telling the Soloviev Live TV channel:
The Anglo-Saxons had an interest in creating an anti-Russian outpost here to put pressure on the Russian Federation. And we are talking not only about economic, political, cultural, but also military pressure.
Estonia is actively arming, it’s not clear why, types of conventional weapons that are capable of targeting St. Petersburg. A medium-range anti-missile defence system is being created.
His words come in a week of diplomatic tension between Russia and its neighbours around the Baltic sea. Yesterday, Russia said it was downgrading diplomatic relations with Estonia, accusing Tallinn of “total Russophobia”. The Russian foreign ministry said it had told the Estonian envoy he must leave next month, and both countries would be represented in each other’s capitals by an interim charge d’affaires instead of an ambassador. Latvia has said itwill downgrade its diplomatic ties with Russia and inform its Russian ambassador to leave the country by 24 February.