Kiev blasts calls for oversight of US military aid to Ukraine
Kiev has reacted angrily to a call voiced by US Congresswoman Victoria Spartz (R-Ind) to “establish proper oversight” over weapons and aid deliveries to Ukraine. The idea amounts to an attempt to “undermine” existing mechanisms of delivering aid to Ukraine amid the ongoing conflict with Russia, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko said Saturday.
Spartz’s stance is particularly cynical given the Ukrainian origins of the congresswoman, Nikolenko noted in a Facebook post.
“The Congresswoman should stop undermining the existing mechanisms of US military assistance to Ukraine. The Ukrainian side is interacting with American partners with maximum openness, providing them full information about the use of technology,” the spokesman said, claiming that “further bureaucratization” of the process would only help Moscow.
Rep. Spartz sent a stern message to both the US President Joe Biden and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky earlier this week, telling them to take at least “three urgent action items” she believes would help “get the situation under control.” According to Spartz, Biden must “stop playing politics, have a clear strategy and align security assistance with our strategy.” Zelensky should “stop playing politics and theater,” and “start governing” instead “to better support his military and local governments.” The third point, related to establishing an oversight mechanism, has apparently irked Kiev the most.
“Congress has to establish proper oversight of critical infrastructure and delivery of weapons and aid,” Spartz stated.
Establishing an oversight mechanism into how money destined to help would be actually spent had been demanded by US politicians before. Back in May, for instance, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul delayed the passage of the behemoth $40 billion Ukraine bill, urging the creation of the oversight mechanism. The aid money would have been better spent at home, Paul argued back then.
“My oath of office is to the US Constitution, not to any foreign nation, and no matter how sympathetic the cause, my oath of office is to the national security of the United States of America. We cannot save Ukraine by dooming the US economy,” the Senator said.
After the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine broke out in late February, Washington became, by far, the top arms supplier of Kiev. According to fresh figures by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IFW), the US has pledged some €6.37 billion in military aid. It has actually delivered, however, less than a half of that amount – some €2.44 billion in military aid – so far, according to IFW statistics. The figures, however, include “disclosed deliveries” only and the actual scale of delivered hardware might be larger, considering that some supplies might be arriving in secret.
The ‘best’ performance in terms of pouring weaponry into Ukraine has been shown by Poland, IFW figures suggest. The country has delivered in full all the €1.8 billion-worth of weaponry it had pledged.
Moscow has repeatedly urged the West not to supply Kiev with more weapons, warning it will only prolong the conflict and lead to long-term negative consequences. Last week, Russia’s top diplomat Sergey Lavrov said that continuing to “pump up” Ukraine with weapons would only prompt Russia “to perform more missions on the ground.”