Kirby: U.S. Delays Give Putin an Advantage

Written by Camilla Jessen

Mar.05 - 2024 8:42 AM CET

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Photo: murathakanart / Shutterstock.com
Photo: murathakanart / Shutterstock.com
U.S. delays in aid to Ukraine are giving Russian President Putin a strategic advantage in the conflict, according to U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin is using delays in U.S. support for Ukraine to boost Russian military actions, said John Kirby, a spokesperson for the U.S. National Security Council, during a March 4 press briefing.

Since the autumn of 2023, financial assistance for Ukraine has been held up in the U.S. Congress. On February 13, the U.S. Senate approved a foreign aid package worth $95 billion, including $60 billion designated for Ukraine and additional funds for Israel and other allies.

The House of Representatives has not yet passed this bill.

Congress Stalls on Ukraine Aid

House Speaker Mike Johnson announced on February 29 that the House would discuss the foreign aid bill "once the government is funded," after delaying the decision for weeks.

Meanwhile, congressional leaders have passed a temporary spending bill to prevent a government shutdown but did not include funding for Ukraine.

This delay in U.S. aid has made it harder for Ukraine to fight back against Russian forces, leading to a shortage of ammunition and the loss of the crucial city of Avdiivka.

When asked if Putin is exploiting the U.S.'s slow response to help Ukraine, Kirby stated that the lack of U.S. aid is indeed giving Russia a military edge.

"He’s certainly taking advantage of what he’s seeing happen on Capitol Hill. And the dysfunction in our own system up there on Capitol Hill is definitely giving him an opportunity to place his own military positions at greater advantage," Kirby explained.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, after visiting Lviv in February, stressed that without American support, Ukraine could lose the conflict. He called on the House Speaker to schedule a vote on the aid package.

This week, Speaker Mike Johnson reportedly had private discussions with Republican members who back military aid to Ukraine, aiming to develop an alternate aid proposal in the House.

Internal U.S. assessments warn that Ukraine's lack of ammunition could drastically change the war's direction, potentially granting Vladimir Putin a considerable upper hand.

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