| 16 June 2024, Sunday |

Russia wrong to assume it can ‘wait out’ military aid for Ukraine: FM

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, has expressed the belief that Russia is making an error in assuming it can outlast international military support for Ukraine.
“Russia makes a mistake if it thinks it can ‘wait out’ military aid for Ukraine. Ukraine will only get stronger, and Russian aggression will fail,” Kuleba said on X (formerly Twitter).

He added: “We are not just bringing weapons to Ukraine. We are ramping up domestic production and co-production with partners in NATO and beyond.”

Ukraine said its working with the US after Congress didn’t include new wartime aid in the budget deal in a last-ditch effort to avoid government shutdown. However, President Joe Biden stressed that US support to Ukraine will remain steadfast.
Biden said in a statement: “While the Speaker and the overwhelming majority of Congress have been steadfast in their support for Ukraine, there is no new funding in this agreement to continue that support. We cannot under any circumstances allow American support for Ukraine to be interrupted. I fully expect the Speaker will keep his commitment to the people of Ukraine and secure passage of the support needed to help Ukraine at this critical moment.”

Kyiv said the situation with the US budget would not halt the flow of previously agreed aid for Ukraine and the Ukrainian government is working with its American partners on new aid funds.

“The situation with an interim US budget will not stop the aid to Ukraine that was announced earlier. Now this about $1.6 billion for the defense industry, $1.23 billion in direct budget support, as well as funds for humanitarian and energy projects,” said Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko as cited by state news agency Ukrinform.

He added that a US government shutdown could have a negative impact on the implementation of current programs in Ukraine, stating that Ukrainian authorities were currently working with US partners to ensure that the new budget measure, which will be in place for the next 45 days, includes new funds to help Ukraine.

Separately, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said during a visit to Kyiv that EU support for Ukraine is permanent and structured because the European bloc is facing an existential threat.

“Our support to Ukraine doesn’t depend on how the war is going on in the next days or weeks. The Ukrainian soldiers are fighting with a lot of courage in front of impressive Russian defense fortifications. The satellite images show that in some cases, these fortifications run 25 kilometers deep and wide. So the counter-offensive is difficult, there you’re fighting in a territory completely mined, that makes it very difficult to use mechanized warfare in order to advance quicker,” Borrell said in a conference after meeting with Ukraine’s defense minister.

Borell added: “So, our support is not conjunctural, it doesn’t depend on the advances of one day. It’s a permanent structured support because we are facing an existential threat for Europe. An existential threat cannot be balanced by the ‘assault de la guerre’ one day or another. The Ukrainians are fighting with all their courage and capacities, and if we want them to be more successful we have to provide them with better arms and quicker.”

  • alarabiya