Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said that the remaining $100 million in military aid to Kyiv from the US authorities will run out this month.
“There is $100 million left of what the current powers provide,” Kirby said during the briefing. This amount will last until about the third week of this month. This is our rough forecast, so we continue to insist that Congress approve the President’s request for additional funds as soon as possible so that we can provide uninterrupted assistance to Ukraine.
At the same time, Kirby expressed confidence that Joe Biden’s request to Congress would be approved, since there is a bipartisan consensus in both chambers regarding the situation around Ukraine. However, he still urged legislators to hurry up with the approval.
“Time is of the essence,” he said.
“We have received enough (favorable – Ed.) signals from Congress, both parties support assistance to Ukraine. Everything that comes out of there tells us that measures will be taken regarding additional funds and the request will be granted. This does not change the fact that we would like the necessary measures to be taken very, very quickly, so that there are no interruptions”, a Pentagon spokesman said.
Kirby also noted that Washington will not reduce the intensity of the supply of weapons to Kyiv.
“As for the speed (deliveries – RT ), it will be the same as before,” he said.
Kirby also acknowledged that the Armed Forces lacked training to use some of the weapons that are being shipped to Ukraine, such as howitzers, so he said the Pentagon is training the Ukrainian military to use these artillery pieces.
Earlier, the owner of the White House signed a law on the transfer of weapons to Ukraine under Lend-Lease.
“The law authorizes the administration during the fiscal year 2023 to transfer military equipment under the Lend-Lease program to Ukraine and other Eastern European countries. The act would relieve the administration of some of the legal provisions that govern the lend-lease of military equipment to foreign countries, such as a five-year loan term limit or the requirement that recipient countries must pay all costs incurred by the United States in leasing defense equipment”, the Pentagon said in a press release.
Biden also urged Congress to approve his request for more than $30 billion in additional budgetary appropriations to be used primarily for military aid to Kyiv.
“The need for this is felt acutely. I almost used up the resources provided to me by a bipartisan majority in Congress to help the Ukrainian fighters, Biden said in a statement published on the White House website.
“We cannot allow our aid supplies to stop while we wait for further action from Congress. There are approximately ten days left before this deadline”.
US shipments and their destruction
Recall, according to the Pentagon, since the beginning of Russia’s special operation in Ukraine, Washington has transferred military assistance to Kyiv in the amount of about $3.8 billion.
We are talking, in particular, about 5.5 thousand Javelin anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs), as well as Stinger portable air defense systems, AT-4 anti-tank systems, tactical unmanned aerial vehicles, grenade launchers, rifles, pistols and shotguns. In addition, as the Pentagon reported last week, the United States delivered 80 American howitzers to Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Russia has repeatedly reported on the elimination of entire batches of American and Western weapons in Ukraine. So, on May 7, the official representative of the Russian Ministry of Defense, Major General Igor Konashenkov, announced the destruction of a large accumulation of weapons received from the United States and other Western countries near the railway station in the Kharkov region.
The elimination of American and Western weapons in Ukraine was reported by the Ministry of Defense on May 8 as well.
“High-precision airborne missiles of the Russian Aerospace Forces in the area of the settlement of Soledar destroyed the weapons and military equipment delivered to the Sol railway station from the United States and Western countries,” Konashenkov said at a briefing.
“Weapon Pumping Champion”
According to Alexei Podberezkin, director of the MGIMO Center for Military-Political Studies, the latest statements by Kirby and Biden related to the supply of weapons to Ukraine indicate that the United States is pursuing a strategy “to increase tension and use force and military means against the Russian military with the hands of the Armed Forces of Ukraine”.
“The current strategy of Washington is supported by an absolute majority of members of the House of Representatives and the Senate of Congress. In this sense, expect no sharp turns, for example, in terms of reducing the intensification of arms supplies to Ukraine. In the United States, they call it help, but in fact it is military-technical stimulation of Kyiv’s aggressiveness, provoking military aggression against Russia. There is no need to harbor illusions – such a policy of Washington will only become tougher”, the expert said in an interview with RT.
As Podberezkin noted, the methods that Washington chooses to deliver weapons to Ukraine, in particular lend-lease, “are simply very convenient for the United States.”
“The Americans are imposing a loan agreement on Ukraine, according to which Ukraine itself will then pay for these deliveries. The United States is actually putting Kyiv on a credit needle. Not only do the Ukrainian authorities defend the interests of the United States, but they will also pay for it from the state budget”, the analyst said.
Podberyozkin believes that the words of Kirby and Biden about supporting the US president’s request in Congress indicate that this initiative is likely to really pass both chambers and the supply of American weapons to Ukraine “will only increase.”
“Washington may start sending offensive tactical missiles, then, quite possibly, will move on to sending long-range multiple launch rocket systems. The US is likely to want to endanger Russia’s border areas, since such weapons have a high target destruction rate. We cannot rule out the supply of S-300s from Washington’s allies, such as Cyprus or Poland. But the problem for the Armed Forces of Ukraine here is that they do not know how to effectively use such weapons”, the expert believes.
In addition, as Podberyozkin emphasizes, there is no guarantee that American arms supplies will reach the Armed Forces of Ukraine, since Russian troops are liquidating the transport infrastructure that supplies equipment with such weapons, as well as warehouses with them. According to the expert, the weapons that will still reach the Armed Forces of Ukraine will not be able to significantly affect the course of Russia’s special operation in Ukraine.
“Such supplies are not able to radically change the balance of power, they will not affect the result of the special operation and its effectiveness. This weapon will no longer help the Armed Forces of Ukraine”, Podberyozkin believes.
As retired colonel Viktor Baranets said in a conversation with RT, it is beneficial for the United States that the Armed Forces of Ukraine “bath in American weapons,” but many of these supplies are either liquidated by the Russian side or go to black markets.
“And this is despite the systematic and rhythmic supply of weapons to Ukraine. The United States is doing this to draw the Ukrainian side into its opposition to Russia. The United States is the world champion in pumping weapons to Ukraine,” the analyst said.
According to Baranets, Washington’s plans are hindered by the Russian Armed Forces, which are consistently and effectively fulfilling their tasks of demilitarizing Ukraine.
“The military of the Russian Federation is blocking weapons channels. The Russian Defense Ministry often reports on the destruction of weapons and ammunition depots, which is strategically important at this phase of the special operation. The more Russia destroys American and Western supplies in general, the more actively it cuts arteries to deliver such weapons, the faster the West will realize that the transfer of its weapons does not play any significant role and is meaningless”, the expert concluded.
Irina Taran, Maxim Lobanov, RT
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