The Biden administration has defended itself against accusations it has been too “timid” in arming Ukraine against Russia’s full-scale invasion, insisting it has been “prepared to take risks” whilst being mindful of the Kremlin’s response.

Speaking at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado on Friday, national security adviser Jake Sullivan found himself under fire after President Zelensky spoke at the event via video and complained about the lack of F-16 fighter jets and long-range missiles that the U.S. had yet to provide.

In response, Sullivan described that idea that the administration is “sitting around, you know, unwilling to provide things because we’re worried about the Russians” as a “caricature,” adding: “I think that is belied by the sheer magnitude of the breadth and sophistication of the capabilities that we have provided.”

Advertisement

While Washington has committed to providing tens of billions of dollars in military aid to Kyiv since Russia invaded in February 2022, Ukrainian requests for equipment such heavy tanks took months to be fulfilled while those for long-range missiles remain unheeded so far. 

Ukraine’s western allies have been wary of providing some weapons for fear of escalating the war with Russia, but Sullivan said the U.S. “has been prepared to take risks.”

He added: “And we will continue to be prepared to take risks to provide support to Ukraine. 

'No Chance of Winning’ Without US Aid, Zelensky Says
Other Topics of Interest

'No Chance of Winning’ Without US Aid, Zelensky Says

President Zelensky says the political games being played around finalizing US aid have already become a disgrace for the free world and democracy.

“It is responsible for every member of NATO and for the United States to think about the Russian reaction when we choose to do something because that matters for our security and management of global stability.

“So don’t be paralyzed by it. Consider it and then make decisions accordingly.”

The U.S. on Wednesday announced a new $1.3 billion military aid package for Ukraine featuring air defense systems, anti-tank missiles, drones and other equipment. 

The package is part of U.S. efforts to meet “Ukraine's pressing requirements by committing critical near-term capabilities while also building the enduring capacity of Ukraine's armed forces,” the Defense Department said in a statement.

Advertisement

The assistance will not immediately arrive on the battlefield, as it falls under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), under which Washington procures equipment from the defense industry or partners, rather than drawing it from U.S. stocks.

The package includes four NASAMs air defense systems and related munitions, TOW anti-tank missiles, 152 mm artillery shells, drones as well as counter-drone systems, and various vehicles.

The announcement comes as Ukrainian forces are fighting to advance against invading Russian troops in a slow-moving counteroffensive that Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior aide to Ukraine's president, said Wednesday “will be quite difficult, long and will take quite a lot of time.”

Podolyak also said that Kyiv's forces need two to three hundred tanks as well as 60 to 80 F-16 warplanes.

The Netherlands and Denmark are leading a plan to train Ukrainian pilots on using the U.S.-made aircraft as part of an 11-nation coalition, but the effort is still in its early stages.

Advertisement
To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Comments (9)

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
Dave McNeil
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

The only thing necessary for evil to triumph in the world is that good men do nothing". There should be no half measures when fighting the evil that is russia. Give the Ukrainians everything they need and give it now. No thanks is required. We do it because we are defined by our values of right and wrong and we hold true to them

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
Wayne phillips
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

With the geriatric Biden in charge people can’t possibly be surprised at the debacle in providing military aid. Ukraine isn’t helping the cause by the poorly executed counter offensive which is whittling away what weapons she has, not to mention the irreplaceable manpower.
The west and Ukraine is fighting Moscow’s war to the delight of Putin.
Good news is Ukraine is winning on TikTok and Reddit

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
John
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

THE JEWISH PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE AND THE JEWISH TAKEOVER OF THIS CHRISTIAN NATION IS DISGUSTING...THE PEOPLE OF UKRAINE ARE VICTIMS OF A DIABOLICAL SATANIC JEWISH CONSPIRACY...THESE JEWS HAVE DIRT ON BIDEN FAMILY SO THAT LITTLE JEW BASTARD Z IS GETTING PUSHING...OUR AMERICAN MONEY IS BEING STOLEN BY TBE DEN OF THIEVES IN UKRAINE...MAY GOD REBUKE YOU JEWISH CROOKS...

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
Noel
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

It's time to stop being bullied by Putin and Russia, they are threatening the entire world, call their bluff and arm Ukraine to the teeth. Send NATO forces in too if needs be, why must Ukraine fight this global terrorist with only their own people? Russians should be ashamed of their current leadership just like the German people were of their Nazi leaders after the second world war.

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
olo
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

Ukrainians are acting very entitled and arrogant and it is a shame. ask for the weapons in private and be thankful for whatever you get. you are not entitled to something that is not yours. America will continue to do its best as a sovereign nation helping another nation but America is not at war with Russia at this time. Zelensky needs to understand that instead of trying to bring America into this war.

gavan duffy
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

Hi Olo !I am sure the Ukranians are thankfull for what they get from the US. But remember Ukraine is fighting NATO's war including the US.

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
gavan duffy
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

Ukraine is fighting NATO's war.It is true that NATO and the Biden administration in particular has been timid in its response to Putin's invasion.NATO's strategy has forced Ukraine to fight the war with one hand tied behind its back. Ukraine has been doing all the fighting and all the dying while NATO deliberates..Some in NATO would be happy to fight the war to the last Ukranian.
NATO should have boots on the ground if it really wants Ukraine to win.

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
I support
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

This war will cost a lot of money are we gonna do this or what? Its a modern war with lots of moving parts I get that. Better to fight it here and now. So stop dithering about weapons give them a chance to defend themselves on a equal footing. Time wasted is lives lost.

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
Perry
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

A reality that few acknowledge is that while President Biden did a great job of building the European and other party coalition starting last fall to respond to the likely invasion of Ukraine by Russia; that at the same time that the only way to hold the coalition together is to let the major European countries lead on weapon types supplied. If the USA gets ahead of what France, Germany, and other countries are willing to do then the coalition fractures - and that would much more disastrous for Ukraine.

Keep in mind that you are still hearing from various European and other countries that they are still looking for a way to end this war via negotiation and you still hear comments that Ukraine may have to give up territory for what those countries consider an "acceptable to them" peace. International norms be dammed!

I believe that is because they value their profitable past commerce relationships over actually living in a world where the rule of law generally holds.

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
I support
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

No one gave the Ukraine a chance at the start shame on us. I understand the fear of escalation but we moved to slow. Look what they have done to civilians and innocents. The only way now to stop escalation is to give it all as soon as possible. Defeat them push them back out of Europe. Show them no this will not stand. You will not move one inch closer.

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png