Just because Washington said it would not be able to fund Ukraine at the same levels as over the past two years doesn’t mean Ukrainians should worry, Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said on Friday.
Kuleba took to Instagram after Ukrainian media quoted State Department spokesman Matthew Miller about the expected drop in military assistance.
“This is not about supporting Ukraine in 2024,” Kiev’s foreign minister insisted. “The State Department said that when Ukraine is firmly on its feet and there are enough weapons and resources to counter Russian aggression, then the amount of support can be reduced.”
“Be chill. Don’t look for extra reasons to worry that will bring you into a state of agony and depression,” he added.
During Thursday’s briefing at the State Department, Miller told reporters the US intends to continue supporting Ukraine “for as long as necessary,” but not with the amount of money and weapons provided so far.
“This does not mean that we will continue to support them at the same level of military funding as in 2022 and 2023,” Miller said.
“We don’t think that should be necessary because the goal is to ultimately transition Ukraine … to help Ukraine to build its own military industrial base so it can both finance and build and acquire munitions on its own,” Miller added.
Because things aren’t there yet, however, he urged Congress to approve additional funding requested by President Joe Biden. The White House asked for over $60 billion in emergency funding for Kiev back in October, but has faced opposition in the Republican-majority House of Representatives. The Pentagon said on Friday it had the authorization to spend $4 billion more, but no actual funds approved by Congress to do so.
Since the outbreak of the conflict with Russia, Kiev has become almost entirely dependent on Western money, weapons, equipment and even ammunition. The Russian Defense Ministry has documented over $203 billion worth of military aid supplied to Ukraine by the US and its allies so far.
Speaking to CNN earlier this week, Kuleba insisted that Kiev doesn’t have a “plan B” if this aid dries up, but is “confident in plan A” of continued Western funding. He has also brushed off concerns about Biden’s possible election loss to former US President Donald Trump in November, suggesting Kiev could “work with” the new government.
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