Western military aid ‘not enough’ – Ukraine
Western nations should allocate 1% of their GDP for weapons deliveries to Ukraine during the country’s conflict with Russia, controversial Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Melnik has claimed.
“We are thankful to our allies for their military help. But: it is not enough,” Melnik wrote on Twitter on Saturday.
The US has already provided more that $35.4 billion worth of arms to Kiev since the start of the fighting last February, with the EU and its member states adding another $13.3 billion. But Melnik insisted that “Ukraine needs 10 times more to finish Russian aggression this year.”
“We call upon our partners to cross all artificial ‘red lines’ and devote 1% of GDP for weapons deliveries,” the diplomat said.
NATO demands that its member states allocate 2% of their GDP to defense spending. However, the bloc’s annual report, which was published in March, revealed that only seven of its 30 members had been able to meet that target in 2022.
Kiev, which secured a promise to supply main battle tanks from the US, UK, Germany and some other countries earlier this year, is now pressuring its foreign backers to provide warplanes too.
In another tweet on Saturday, Melnik mocked German Foreign Minister Boris Pistorius for suggesting that Tornado and Eurofighter jets would be “unsuitable” for the Ukrainian military.
“Oh, yes?.. Really?” the deputy foreign minister wrote. Berlin had originally ruled out delivering its Leopard 2 tanks, but is now “so proud” to be sending 18 of them to Kiev, he noted.
Melnik was Ukraine’s ambassador in Germany until last July, and often made headlines in this role with scandalous comments. He labeled German Chancellor Olaf Scholz an “offended liverwurst” for his unwillingness to visit Kiev, but later apologized. He also told Elon Musk to “f**k off” in relation to the billionaire’s peace proposals.
In one interview as ambassador, Melnik defended controversial Ukrainian hero Stepan Bandera, who collaborated with the Nazis during WWII and is accused of the mass murder of Jews and Poles, comparing him to noble thief Robin Hood. Melnik wasn’t without a job for long following his dismissal, having been promoted to deputy foreign minister last November.