Pentagon looks to allies to continue support for Ukraine’s fight against Russia
WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is set to host the monthly gathering of about 50 countries out of money, unable to send the ammunition and missiles that Ukraine needs to fend off Russia’s invasion.
A report from The Associated Press indicated that for the first time since Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin established the international group to support Ukraine in April 2022, Congress is waiting to pass a budget to potentially approve more money for Ukraine’s fight. In the meantime, the US will be looking to allies to keep bridging the gap.
“I urge this group to dig deep to provide Ukraine with more lifesaving ground-based air defence systems and interceptors,” Austin said in opening remarks broadcast from his home, where he is still recuperating after prostate cancer surgery.
AP News also shared that on Tuesday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced a new $1.2 billion joint contract to buy more than 222,000 rounds of 155 mm ammunition.
“Even though we aren’t able to provide our security assistance right now, our partners are continuing to do that,” deputy Pentagon press secretary Sabrina Singh told reporters Monday.
AP News says the Pentagon announced its last security assistance for Ukraine on December 27, a $250 million package that included 155 mm rounds, Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and other high-demand items drawn from existing US stockpiles.
The US says it has not been able to provide additional munitions since then because the money for replenishing those stockpiles has run out and Congress has yet to approve more funds.