The US is expected to announce one of its largest military aid packages for Ukraine in the coming days, according to two US officials familiar with the plans. But Kyiv has been pleading for modern tanks, a request the US is not yet willing to grant, despite the United Kingdom and Poland saying they will.
So far the US has appeared resistant to sending them, even though the UK and other key allies are preparing to send tanks that could make a crucial difference in the war as Kyiv braces for a possible large-scale Russian counter-offensive.
The UK has already announced it will send 12 of their Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine, heralding a new phase in the international effort to arm Kyiv and cross what had previously appeared to be a red line for the US and its European allies.
Earlier this month, Polish President Andrzej Duda said his country would provide Ukraine with a company of Leopard tanks, while Finland said tanks are under consideration.
The US, which has led the way on providing military aid to Ukraine to combat’s Russia’s invasion, now appears more cautious than key allies, even as it has far outpaced other countries in sending aid to Ukraine.
The largest US security package to date, announced earlier this month, totaled more than $3 billion and included the first shipment of Bradley infantry fighting vehicles. The previous largest package was $1.85 billion and was announced in late December.