Getting military supplies to Ukraine may become harder – US
US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman has revealed it may become more difficult in the coming days to ship weapons to Ukraine for help in its conflict with Russia.
Speaking to reporters in Madrid on Monday, Sherman praised the “international community” for being “tremendously responsive” and resourceful in finding ways to deliver weapons, ammunition, and finances to Ukraine. However, such shipments “may become harder [to make] in the coming days and we will have to find other ways to manage this,” she warned.
“It is critical that what we send in is what [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky asks for, because he knows what his military needs most,” Sherman explained.
While Sherman declined to elaborate upon what issues might threaten the continued ease of shipments, the Biden administration is currently pondering how to appease Zelensky’s demand for warplanes his military can fly, given that Ukrainian pilots would only be able to operate Polish planes from the Soviet era.
“People are trying to see whether this is possible and doable,” Sherman explained, stressing that she did not want Moscow to view the supply of such planes as becoming directly involved in the war. Sending over such planes would, she argued, be seen “as all the deliveries have been seen as a right for Ukraine to defend itself.”
Zelensky has also demanded a no-fly zone backed by NATO, a wish the transatlantic alliance has thus far refused to grant, arguing it would snowball into a “full-fledged war in Europe.” Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed, explaining any countries imposing such a no-fly zone would be considered participants in the war. Zelensky nevertheless denounced the decision as “weak.” Most of his other demands, from suspending commercial transactions via Visa and Mastercard to denouncing Putin as a war criminal, have been taken up by some element of the US political apparatus.
Last month, the US authorized the shipment of $350 million in military aid to Ukraine, while the House of Representatives is currently trying to pass a whopping $10 billion aid package to the country. The EU sent $500 million (€450 million) in weaponry last week in an unprecedented step for the bloc, which has not previously supplied aid to a country at war. Germany, too, reversed its policies on not shipping weapons to conflict zones.