Biden says Abrams tanks will arrive in Ukraine next week amid counteroffensive
Baku, September 22, AZERTAC
The US's premier M1 Abrams main battle tanks will begin to arrive in Ukraine beginning next week, President Joe Biden said Thursday as he hosted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the White House, according to Anadolu Agency.
The tanks have been long-anticipated, and their entry onto the battlefield comes as Ukrainian forces continue to push a counteroffensive aimed at pushing Russia out of occupied territories.
In order to assist in that effort, Biden announced a new $325 million military aid package that includes additional air defense, including a second HAWK air defense system, anti-tank weapons, artillery ammunition, and additional ammunition for already-supplied HIMARS long-range missile systems.
It does not include long-range surface-to-surface missile systems known as ATACMS that Ukraine has publicly said would bolster its war effort, however.
Biden said that the assistance is indicative of a longer-term commitment to Ukraine's defense, stability and economic future.
"Just as we're committed to helping Ukrainian people defend themselves now, we're also committed to helping them recover and rebuild for the future, including supporting reforms that are going to combat corruption, creating an environment where businesses can thrive and we're American and European businesses want to invest," he said.
"Together with 29 other partners we're committed to help Ukraine build a force capable of ensuring Ukraine's long-term security, capable of deterring future threats against sovereignty, territorial integrity and freedom, which are underway now. Because that's what this is all about. The future. The future of freedom," he added.
Zelenskyy thanked Biden and the American people for their steadfast support, saying the latest military tranche is "exactly what our soldiers need."
Zelenskyy took to Capitol Hill earlier where he sought to shore up support for continued US assistance, particularly among the Republican rank-and-file where resistance has been building.
Asked by a reporter if Congress would continue to support efforts to arm and defend Ukraine, Biden said, "there's no alternative."
"I'm counting on the good judgment of the United States Congress," he said.