US confirms Ukraine military supplies have stopped
The flow of US military aid to Kiev has now stopped, White House national security spokesman John Kirby said on Thursday. His remarks came amid a debate in Congress on whether to continue 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 a $100 billion supplemental budget request he has tabled, 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.
The 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 has ended without significant territorial gains.
Valery Zaluzhny, Ukraine’s top general, admitted last year that the conflict was “at a stalemate.”
EU officials are also increasingly acknowledging that deliveries of weapons to Ukraine have been delayed due to production and logistical 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.”