Home » “We’ve Run Out of Money and Run Out of Time.” Kyiv Fears That Without American Weapons Ukraine Will Lose
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“We’ve Run Out of Money and Run Out of Time.” Kyiv Fears That Without American Weapons Ukraine Will Lose

The head of the Ukrainian presidential office, Andriy Yermak, warned that without new supplies of American military aid, his country risks losing the war to Russia.

Without continued American support, Yermak said, there is a “huge risk” of Ukraine losing the war.

“It will be difficult for us to maintain the same positions and simply survive,” he added, speaking on Tuesday at the US Institute of Peace in Washington.

Yermak’s unflattering assessment of the situation came just hours before President Zelensky pulled out of a planned video conference with US senators to brief them on the progress of the fighting.

As Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer noted, without going into further details, the Ukrainian leader had urgent matters at the last minute.

Ermak’s statement comes as the White House is once again trying to push for more aid to Ukraine.

At the same time, Congress has still not come close to a compromise that would allow further funding of Kyiv.

Financing impasse

“We are running out of money and almost running out of time,” Shalanda Young, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, wrote in a message to Democratic and Republican leaders released Monday.

In it, she warned that if Congress fails to approve additional military aid to Ukraine by the end of the year, it will undermine the country’s efforts to confront Russia and that there is no “magic pot” left from which additional funds can be drawn.

But on Monday, House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Republican, brushed off Democratic calls for tens of billions of dollars in additional aid to Ukraine.

“The Biden Administration has failed to substantively address any of our legitimate concerns – the lack of a clear strategy in Ukraine, a path to resolution of the conflict, or a plan to adequately ensure accountability for the assistance provided by American taxpayers,” he wrote on Facebook.

The funding impasse comes as the impasse appears to be on the front lines.

Since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion (in February 2022), the US Congress has approved military and economic assistance to Ukraine totaling more than $110 billion.

But the Biden administration has been warning for months that most of that money has already been distributed.

According to Frederick Kagan, director of the American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project and a former professor at the US Military Academy, funding delays are already having very real consequences on the Ukrainian front.

The current counter-offensive against Russia is winding down, and future military operations to recapture lost territories are in doubt.

“Ukrainians will have to make difficult choices,” he said. “If they are not confident that they will get anything more from the United States, then they will have to try to hold on to what they have.”

According to Kagan, the Ukrainian army needs tanks, armored personnel carriers, fighter jets, drones and long-range weapons. And the United States is the only country that is capable of providing this equipment quickly and in the quantities that Ukraine will need next year.

There is support, but there is no bill

There are still bipartisan majorities in both houses of Congress that support more aid for Ukraine, even if it falls short of the $61.4 billion the White House has requested.

However, translating this congressional support into an actual bill that the president can sign has proven to be a major challenge.

Republicans and Democrats in the US Senate are currently negotiating a combined $106 billion spending package that includes aid to Ukraine, military support for Israel and Taiwan and a package of measures to strengthen the US border with Mexico.

The last spending item is the most controversial, as Democrats oppose tougher immigration policies that Republicans are pushing for.

“In exchange for additional funding for Ukraine, we must make significant reforms to our border policy,” Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton said in a television interview Sunday.

Chuck Schumer said he will bring a military aid bill to a House vote this week, but it is unclear whether it will receive enough Republican support without an agreement on immigration reforms.

A secret briefing on the relief package provided by Biden administration officials erupted in a heated argument on Tuesday afternoon as Senate Republicans accused Democrats of ignoring their call for money to shore up the border, US media reported.

“This year the US deficit will exceed $2.5 trillion,” Republican Congressman Matt Rosendale told the BBC’s James Coomarasamy on Tuesday. “So why should the people of the United States borrow money from China to give it to Ukraine?” This is not in our interests.”

How to sell a package in Congress

In an attempt to win support from Congress, the White House is touting additional aid to Ukraine as an opportunity to strengthen the American economy and security.

In her letter to Congress, the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, Shalanda Young, emphasizes that the requested funds will be used for the production of weapons at American factories located throughout the country.

“We will modernize munitions and equipment such as Javelins produced in Alabama, guided missile systems produced in West Virginia, Arkansas and Texas… and artillery shells produced in Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Iowa and many other states.” – she writes.

As the presidential election approaches, the White House may be hoping that members of Congress will look for ways to tout their own success in supporting local economies in their congressional districts.

According to Frederick Kagan, he is not surprised that financing Ukraine has become such a controversial topic in the United States, because the conflict in Ukraine has been going on for almost two years.

“The American people deserve to have their representatives clearly define what America’s interests are and have a real debate about the distribution of this large sum of money,” he says.

But the stakes, he said, are clear: “The outcome of this war will be determined primarily by what the Ukrainians can do, but very closely secondarily by what the United States decides to do.”

Source : BBC