President Joe Biden announced the decision in remarks at the White House, saying the tanks were needed to help Ukrainian troops "improve their ability to maneuver in open terrain."
An M1 Abrams tank. Photo: EPA/Sgt. Anthony Prater/DVIDS via PAP
'It's an important step on the path to victory': Zelensky
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Biden for the decision, saying in a tweet that he was "grateful to the American people for leadership support."
Zelensky added: "It's an important step on the path to victory. Today the free world is united as never before for a common goal – liberation of Ukraine. We're moving forward."
Ukrainian soldiers will be trained to use the Abrams in a yet-to-be determined location, the Reuters news agency reported.
Earlier on Wednesday, Germany announced it would deliver a company of 14 Leopard 2 A6 tanks “as a first step" in allied efforts to quickly provide Ukraine with two tank battalions.
'Germany has really stepped up'
Biden thanked Germany for its decision to supply Leopard tanks to Ukraine.
"Germany has really stepped up," he said.
Biden added that the United States and European allies were "fully, totally and thoroughly united” although "the expectation on the part of Russia is we’re going to break up."
The decisions by Washington and Berlin come as Ukraines prepares for a possible new Russian offensive in the spring, news agencies reported.
The United States will provide the M1 Abrams tanks through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, a special fund that allows Biden's administration to buy weapons from industry rather than taking them from existing weapons stocks, Reuters reported.
'A significant difference in fighting back against Russia': NATO chief
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said in a Twitter post: "I strongly welcome President Joe Biden's and the United States' leadership in providing Abrams tanks to Ukraine."
He added that NATO allies were united in their "support for Ukraine's self-defence."
"Together with the UK's Challenger and Germany's Leopard 2 tanks, this can make a significant difference in fighting back against Russia," Stoltenberg predicted.
'Peace in Europe is getting closer': Polish PM
Polish President Andrzej Duda pledged earlier this month that Poland would send a company of German-made Leopard tanks to help Ukraine defend itself against Russia.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki tweeted on Wednesday: "First the Leopards, now the Abrams. Thank you, President Joe Biden. Peace in Europe is getting closer."
Source: IAR, PAP, Reuters, CNN