17:32 09 Feb 2024

Ukraine is facing critical shortage of military equipment – Ukraine's ambassador to US

In an interview with Bloomberg, Ukraine's Ambassador to the US Oksana Markarova said that Ukraine is facing a "critical shortage" of military hardware, including missiles.

She urges US lawmakers to support a $60 billion aid package for Ukraine following the latest dispute over prolonging military assistance.

"We still have enough people who want to fight — there is no choice, actually for us, we are defending our homes — but we're running out of equipment, especially missiles and interceptors." 

She said Ukraine needed this support yesterday.

Her comments come as the Biden administration's $60 billion funding request for Ukraine continues to languish on Capitol Hill. The Senate on Thursday signaled support for the war aid, but its fate in the House is unclear.

"I was so happy to hear that it was a very strong bipartisan support, not yet final of course, just the first step in the right direction. There is no alternative to continuing this support."

Funding still faces an uphill battle in the House of Representatives, where some Republicans oppose increased aid to Ukraine, and others want to tie it to stricter measures on the southern US border.

US support has waned as the all-out war has entered its third year and as the Biden administration faces acute security challenges elsewhere, particularly in the Middle East following the outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas.

Asked what Ukraine would do if former President Donald Trump is re-elected later this year, Markarova said Ukraine should thank him for providing Javelin missiles during his administration.

"It's a democracy — we will work with the president that the American people will elect. The fight for freedom, the fight for independence, fight for democracy and the values that we share — it has been, and we will work very hard to have it be, bipartisan. It's an all-American issue."

The large package (Ukraine/Israel/Taiwan/Migration Reform) was expected to be voted down due to the lack of votes for the agreement on migration reform, which negotiators have been working on in recent months.

The US has run out of money to finance military aid to Ukraine, so Biden has requested more than $100 billion from Congress, including over $60 billion for Ukrane.

There are currently disagreements in Congress over this package, as Republicans are demanding that proposals to strengthen border security be added. Biden's request has not yet been approved.

The US leader emphasized the importance of congressional action to provide Ukraine with the necessary resources, including air defense and artillery, to protect itself from Russian invasion.

On January 17, Biden discussed the provision of financial and military support to Ukraine with representatives of both houses of Congress, calling for the prompt approval of a $61.3 billion aid package.

He was ready for major changes in migration policy and urged Republicans not to block aid to Ukraine; otherwise, they would have to pay even more.

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba reiterated his confidence that the US Congress would approve additional funding despite the differences between the two parties on the issue of migration.

On February 6, Biden again appealed to the US Congress to vote for a bill to allocate additional funding for national security needs, including for Ukraine, Israel, and the southern border.


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