The US States Department has given preliminary approval for the sale of battle tanks and other equipment to Poland amid rising tension with Russia over Ukraine and to bolster NATO’s defense in Europe. Press TV reported.
The sale of weapons to Poland will “help to ensure a more equitable sharing of responsibilities within the alliance for our common defense,” said Lloyd James Austin, the US Secretary of Defense.
Austin said the sales still required Congressional approval to determine the time frame to deliver weapons.
According to the press release from the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the Polish government requested 250 M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tanks.
The Abrams Tanks is a full-tracked, low-profile land combat assault weapon that comes with the 120 mm main gun and special protection armor. According to the Army’s Acquisition Support Center.
Austin said Poland will get the most modern version of the Abrams tank.
The sales also include 26 Hercules Combat recovery vehicles, 276 M2 .50 caliber machine guns, and 500 M240C 7.62 mm machine guns, among other equipment.
The weapon sales approval comes amid rising tensions with Russia over Ukraine. The US officials are predicting different time frames of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. While Russia denies any aggression.
The US has already stationed 4700 troops at Fort Bragg, N. C. to Poland. Austin said that the troops are ready to respond to a range of contingencies, adding that they would work with the Polish government and will help American citizens leave Ukraine if the situation gets worse.
The US and its NATO allies have been accusing Russia of plans to invade Ukraine by deploying 150,000 troops and armaments near the border with Ukraine. While Moscow has rejected the allegations, saying the military build-up is defensive in nature.
Austin told reporters in Lithuania that he agrees with President Biden that his Russian counterpart has made up his mind to invade Ukraine.
“For months now, Russia has been building up its military forces in and around Ukraine, including in Belarus. They are uncoiling and are now poised to strike,” Austin said.
Moscow has lambasted the ‘unfounded accusations by the US and the NATO forces that it was not withdrawing troops, saying it will take time to draw close the current military exercises.
By deploying more troops on Russian doorsteps and by selling advanced armaments to European countries, the USA is building more pressure on Russia. Russia will surely prepare itself to encounter these US actions.