Increase in Western weapons flow to Ukraine ‘unlikely’ – Bloomberg
There’s no sign that Kiev’s backers in the US and EU will be stepping up weapons deliveries to Ukraine in response to the partial mobilization in Russia, Bloomberg has reported.
Officials in Kiev say they need more multiple rocket launch systems and tanks to resist what they called an “escalation” by Russia, referring to Moscow’s move to call up some 300,000 reservists to beef up its forces in Ukraine.
But an unnamed senior European official told the agency that it’s “unlikely” that there'll be any dramatic increase in weapons flow to Kiev or that any new taboos will be broken by the West in terms of the types of arms to be sent.
This is because the US is cautious of provoking a direct conflict with Russia by delivering more advanced arms and the EU’s own stocks of key weapons are now running low, he explained.
Four officials told Bloomberg that they saw no indication of European governments getting ready to provide a fresh round of arms to Ukraine.
They singled out German-made Leopard tanks as “a particular bone of contention.” They are used by several NATO members, including Spain, the Netherlands, Norway and Greece, but individual countries need to get permission from Berlin in order to supply them to Kiev.
However, according to one source, none of those nations have yet filed such requests with German authorities.
In Italy, a lack of funds has already pushed Ukraine down the list of the government’s priorities, with the flow of weapons subsiding since July, one official said.
However, Bloomberg still described Western lethal aid to Kiev as “impressive,” reminding that the US has spent $15.1 billion on weapons for Ukraine since the start of the conflict in late February, with Germany adding 734 million euros ($711 million) worth of arms.
Moscow has long criticized the deliveries of weapons, arguing that they only prolong the conflict and increase the risk of a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO.
As he announced the partial mobilization, President Vladimir Putin said that Russia has been faced with “the entire Western military machine” in Ukraine. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has also warned that “the US, in fact, is teetering on the brink of turning into a party to the conflict” due to its lavish assistance to Kiev.