US joins Germany in sending battle tanks to Ukraine
Watch: Biden says tanks are not an offensive threat to Russia
By Gareth Evans
The US will send 31 powerful battle tanks to Ukraine, joining Germany in sending the vehicles to support the fight against Russia's invasion.
The decision to deliver the M1 Abrams tanks was announced just hours after Germany said it would send 14 of its Leopard 2 tanks to the battlefield.
Berlin also cleared the way for other European countries to send German-made tanks from their own stocks.
Ukraine has lobbied Western allies to send the military equipment for months.
It hailed the twin announcements as a potential turning point that would allow its military to regain momentum and take back occupied territory. It also said the tanks could help deter a potential Russian offensive in the spring.
"An important step on the path to victory," Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said. "Today the free world is united as never before for a common goal - liberation of Ukraine."
Russia, meanwhile, condemned the moves as a "blatant provocation" and said any supplied tanks would be destroyed. "These tanks burn like all the rest. They are just very expensive," President Vladimir Putin's spokesman said earlier.
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