(DailyDig.com) – Ukraine needs missiles and ammunition to repel Russia’s invasion, but the US cannot provide them due to a lack of funding.
As Washington waits for Congress to provide more funding for Ukraine, its allies will need to continue filling the funding gap.
This was the first time the Biden administration appeared at the monthly gathering of 50 countries that coordinate assistance for Ukraine on January 23 without any funding due to finances being entangled in politics at home. Lloyd Austin, US Defense Secretary, spoke about the shortage of interceptors and air defense devices in Ukraine, urging the coalition to provide for the needs of Ukraine.
Assistant defense secretary Celeste Wallander said that Ukrainian military sources are complaining they are short on the ammunition they need.
As the Ukrainian government awaits Congress’s decision, its allies in Europe are taking steps to provide for their needs.
The Secretary-General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, reported that NATO purchased over 222,000 shells of 155-millimeter ammunition under a 1.2-billion-dollar combined deal. These rounds are among the war’s most used ammunition.
Russia bombarded the two largest towns in Ukraine with about 40 missiles on January 23. The attack followed a day in which Moscow rejected a deal supported by Ukraine and its Western partners to end the conflict of nearly two years. The air defenses of Ukraine successfully intercepted twenty-one missiles.
Stinger missiles, 155-millimeter ammunition, and other highly sought-after items pulled from existing US inventories were part of a 250-million-dollar shipment that the Pentagon presented as its final security support on December 27 to Ukraine.
The US has been unable to provide more munitions since then due to a lack of funding for restocking such stockpiles and the failure of Congress to authorize further expenditures. Other policy goals, such as bolstering border security between the US and Mexico, are points of contention between the White House and Congress.
Since Russia’s invasion in February 2022, the United States has given about 44.2 billion dollars in aid to Ukraine.
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