Pentagon Out of Cash for Ukraine as It Hosts 50 Allies on Kyiv Support

Published January 23, 2024

The United States is out of money for Ukraine, unable to send the ammunition and missiles that the government in Kyiv needs to fend off Russia’s invasion.

With the aid caught up in domestic politics, the Biden administration on Tuesday came empty-handed for the first time as host of the monthly meeting of about 50 nations that coordinate support for Ukraine. The group was established by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in April 2022.

While waiting for Congress to approve more money for Ukraine’s fight, Washington will look to allies to keep bridging the gap.

“I urge this group to dig deep to provide Ukraine with more lifesaving ground-based air defense systems and interceptors,” Austin said in opening remarks broadcast from his home, where he is recuperating after prostate cancer surgery.

The opening statement by video was the first public appearance from Austin, 70, who appeared slightly gaunt. He was hospitalized for two weeks after complications from the surgery.

After the meeting, Celeste Wallander, assistant defense secretary for international affairs, told reporters that Ukraine’s ministry of defense is getting reports from its front lines that “units are not do not have the stocks and the stores of ammunition that they require.”

Wallander added, “That is one of the reasons we have been focusing on the need to answer Congress’ questions, so that they are able to move forward on a decision to pass” legislation with the aid.

While Ukraine waits to see what Congress will do, European allies are moving ahead with new measures to support Ukraine.



RELATED: Pentagon says Ukrainian soldiers running out of ammunition without US funds

The money is caught up in the extended negotiations between Democrats and Republicans over U.S. border policy.

The most recent package for Ukraine was announced on Dec. 27, and it included $250 million in artillery, air defenses and other weapons. | Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images
Published January 23, 2024

Ukrainian soldiers on the front lines are running out of ammunition and other weapons needed to fight the Russian invaders, a Pentagon official said Tuesday, now that U.S. funding to support the war has lapsed.

Since December, Washington has been unable to send urgently needed military aid to Ukraine at the same levels as the previous two years, Celeste Wallander, the Pentagon’s top official overseeing international security affairs, told reporters.

That’s because the Pentagon has used all of the money allotted by Congress to replenish U.S. stockpiles provided to Ukraine, and have yet to approve new funding. President Joe Biden last year sent an emergency supplemental request to Congress including about $60 billion in additional funds for Ukraine, but that has been stalled on Capitol Hill over GOP demands for border policy changes.

The latest package for Ukraine, announced on Dec. 27, included $250 million in artillery, air defenses and other weapons.

Wallander spoke to reporters after a virtual meeting of the U.S.-led Ukraine Defense Contact Group, a coalition of international military and defense chiefs focused on supporting Ukraine. The Pentagon typically announces major packages of aid for Ukraine after each contact group meeting, but that was not the case on Tuesday due to the lack of a supplemental.



RELATED: Pentagon: Lack of funds for Ukraine prevents maintenance of previously provided weapons

Published January 22, 2024

The absence of a decision by the US Congress on further assistance to Ukraine affects the Pentagon’s ability to transfer weapons and ammunition to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, as well as to maintain the weapons that were previously provided.
This was stated by Pentagon spokesman General Patrick Ryder, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

“Obviously, the current lack of funding has forced us to suspend the withdrawal of additional weapons from our stockpiles, given the consequences for our own combat readiness. And this, of course, prevents us from meeting Ukraine’s most urgent needs on the battlefield, including artillery shells, anti-tank weapons, and air defense systems,” the US defense official said.

In addition, according to him, the lack of additional funding hinders the maintenance of weapons and equipment provided to Ukraine earlier.

“We will continue to work closely with Congress and urge [lawmakers] to provide additional funding as soon as possible,” the Pentagon spokesman summarized.

As reported by Ukrinform, a meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine’s Defense in the Ramstein format was held on Tuesday. More than 50 countries took part in the meeting, which was chaired by the US Secretary of Defense.





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