Defense

Bipartisan group of senators requests specifics on defense aid provided to Ukraine

Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) arrive for a vote for a short-term continuing resolution to fund the government until Feb 18 on Thursday, December 2, 2021.
Greg Nash

A bipartisan group of senators requested specifics from the Biden administration on the defense aid that the United States has provided to Ukraine since Russia began its invasion into the neighboring country last month.

The letter, led by Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), asked White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan for a list of lethal and nonlethal aid provided to Ukraine to date and the status of deliveries. 

The senators also requested an analysis of equipment from allied nations that could be provided to Ukraine and later backfilled with NATO equipment, among other inquiries. 

“America’s commitments to Ukraine and to our NATO allies demand we expedite the delivery of weapons and capabilities to our allies and partners; Ukraine can win this fight if we help them win this fight,” the senators said. “Above all else, our commitment to our allies and partners keeps Americans prosperous and keeps our families safe.”

The senators also noted that the U.S.’s strategy for Ukraine needed to do more than provide adequate means for protecting the country against Russian forces.

They said that “the strategy must deliver Ukraine necessary weapons to defend itself, counter the Russian forces’ advance, and give the Ukrainian people a chance to win the war.”

In addition to Ernst and Gillibrand, the other signatories were Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Susan Collins (R-Maine), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Angus King (I-Maine), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.).

“Deliveries of our security assistance are occurring daily, and we are expediting shipments as quickly as possible to get the Ukrainians even more of the weapons they are using so effectively to defend their country such as anti-aircraft and anti-tank system,” a White House National Security Council spokesperson told The Hill regarding the timing of deliveries.

“The United States has delivered roughly $350 million of security assistance to Ukraine over the past three weeks. We are also facilitating deliveries of additional assistance from our allies and partners – at least 30 countries have provided security assistance to Ukraine since the invasion began,” the spokesperson added.

Earlier this month, the president announced $800 million in added security assistance to Ukraine. A White House fact sheet said that the latest package included 800 Stinger anti-aircraft systems, 100 Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems and 2,000 Javelins, among other weapons.

The development comes as the Russian invasion extends into its second month, with Moscow remaining unsuccessful in seizing Ukrainian capital Kyiv. 

Tags Angus King Ben Sasse Biden Bill Cassidy Chuck Grassley Jacky Rosen Jake Sullivan Jake Sullivan James Lankford Jerry Moran Joe Biden John Boozman John Cornyn John Hoeven Joni Ernst Joni Ernst Kevin Cramer Kirsten Gillibrand Kirsten Gillibrand lethal aid Marco Rubio Mark Kelly Marsha Blackburn nonlethal aid Rick Scott Roger Marshall Russia Russia-Ukraine conflict Shelley Moore Capito Steve Daines Susan Collins Thom Tillis Tom Cotton Ukraine

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