The White House has reiterated its call for Congress to approve additional funds for Kiev
The military aid Washington has been providing Kiev has come to a halt, White House national security spokesman John Kirby said on Thursday. His remarks came amid the resurgence of debate in Congress about the importance of continuing support for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia.
“We have issued the last drawdown package that we had funding to support, and that’s why it’s critical that Congress move on that national security supplemental request,” Kirby told reporters at a press briefing, admitting that “the assistance that [the US had] provided has now ground to a halt.”
The last aid package worth $250 million was authorized by President Joe Biden in late December through the Presidential Drawdown Authority, which allows for urgent deliveries of weapons to allies without congressional approval.
Biden has been asking Congress to vote for his more than $100 billion supplemental budget request, of which more than $60 billion is slated for Ukraine. Republicans have blocked the measure, demanding that the White House and congressional Democrats agree to their plan of tightening security at the border with Mexico.
Director of the Office of Management and Budget Shalanda Young told the press in January that the drawdown authority “is not going to get big tranches of equipment into Ukraine,” describing the situation as “dire.”
Earlier in the month, Pentagon spokesman, Major General Patrick Ryder, warned that the army was running out of options “to replenish the stocks.”
While Biden has publicly pledged to back Kiev for “as long as it takes,” some Republicans and the media have been questioning Washington’s existing strategy, given that Ukraine’s much-hyped counteroffensive ended in a failure. Valery Zaluzhny, Ukraine’s top general, admitted last year that the conflict was “at a stalemate.”
EU officials are also increasingly acknowledging that the deliveries of weapons to Ukraine have been delayed due to production and logistics issues.
“Europe doesn’t know how to fight wars,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said in a recent interview. “Unfortunately, our friends spent too much time deliberating on how and when to ramp up their production of weapons and ammunition.”
You can share this story on social media: