Biden announces U.S. will send 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine

Speaking at the White House on Wednesday, President Biden said the U.S. will send 31 Abrams tanks to support Ukraine in its battle against Russia’s invasion. In his remarks, Biden also praised German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for agreeing to contribute tanks to support Ukraine, saying, “Germany has really stepped up.”

Video transcript

JOE BIDEN: Today I'm announcing that the United States will be sending 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, the equivalent of one Ukrainian battalion. Secretary Austin has recommended this step because it will enhance the Ukraine's capacity to defend its territory and achieve its strategic objectives.

The Abrams tanks are the most capable tanks in the world. They're also extremely complex to operate and maintain. So we're also giving Ukraine the parts and the equipment necessary to effectively sustain these tanks on the battlefield.

We'll begin to train Ukrainian troops on these issues of sustainment, logistics, and maintenance as soon as possible. Delivering these tanks to the field is going to take time, time that we'll see and we'll use to make sure the Ukrainians are fully prepared to integrate the Abrams tanks into their defenses.

We're also closely coordinating this announcement with our allies. The American contribution will be joined by an additional announcement, including that we'll be ready and available and more easily integrated for use in the battlefield in the coming weeks and months from other countries. I'm grateful to Chancellor Scholz for providing German Leopard 2 tanks, and will lead an effort to organize a European contribution of two tank battalions for Ukraine.

I want to thank the chancellor for his leadership and his steadfast commitment to our collective efforts to support Ukraine. Germany has really stepped up. The Chancellor has been a strong, strong voice for unity, a close friend, and for the level of effort we're going to continue.