This photograph taken on June 21, 2023 shows an Airbus Helicopter H160 performing an exhibition flight demonstration as a US national flag flutters in foreground, during the International Paris Air Show at the Paris–Le Bourget Airport. JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP
According to a Pentagon official statement on June 20, the accounting error discovered last month is significantly larger than previously reported. In the middle of May, it was reported that the assistance provided by the US to Ukraine had been overstated by $3 billion, when it fact it should have been $6.2 billion.
According to Deputy Pentagon press secretary Sabrina Singh, these funds will be used to purchase additional equipment that will contribute to the fight against the Russian invaders.
The Pentagon explained that the accounting error occurred in the fiscal years 2022 and 2023. It happened because “in a significant number of cases” when the United States transferred weapons, military officials considered the cost of replacing the weapons with new versions instead of the actual value of the weapons concerned.
All products decrease in value as they get older and that is the same for old weapons. The calculations made on that mistaken assumption indicated the US had used more funds than in reality. This recalculation means, the value of each new aid package can be increased.
“In a significant number of cases, services used replacement costs rather than net book value, thereby overestimating the value of the equipment drawn down from US stocks and provided to Ukraine,” Singh said at a press briefing on June 20.
Final calculations revealed that the number of errors in fiscal year 2022, which ended at the end of September was 2.6 billion dollars. And during the current fiscal year, the amount reached 3.6 billion dollars.
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“These valuation errors in no way limit or restricted the size of any of our PDAs or impacted the provision of support to Ukraine,” the deputy Pentagon spokeswoman stressed.
As a result, the Pentagon received additional funds that can be used to provide new assistance to Ukraine for its summer offensive against Russia. This is important, especially as congressional funding is likely to decline before the end of the fiscal year.
Last month the White House reported that at the moment it does not plan to ask Congress for additional finance Ukraine until the end of September. This statement astounded administration officials, congressional staffers, and lawmakers. Because in their opinion, the funds may run out by the middle of summer.
When the Pentagon admitted to the first error in calculations in May for the amount of 3 billion dollars, Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs and Armed Services committees expressed their disappointment as they feared the mistake had reduced the amount of support for the Ukrainian counteroffensive.
In turn, the Pentagon spokeswoman said that after all the identified errors, the US Department received new instructions on estimating the cost of equipment provided to Ukraine, "to ensure that we use the most accurate accounting methods [in the future]."
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