Ukraine Pleads for More Weapons Such as F-15 and F-16 Fighters As Donbas War Drags On – On Friday, Ukrainian Foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said that Ukraine is willing to restart peace negotiations with Russia, while also requesting that G7 countries provide even more weapons and ammunition to aid the fight in the eastern Donbas region.
Following a meeting in Germany with his G7 counterparts, Kuleba said that Ukraine has received “no positive feedback” from Russia and accused the Kremlin of preferring war to diplomacy.
“We are ready to talk, but we are ready for a meaningful conversation based on mutual respect, not on the Russian ultimatums thrown on the table,” Kuleba told journalists in Germany, adding that his talks with his foreign counterparts had proven “helpful” and “fruitful.”
The meeting of G7 foreign ministers in Germany focused on how to increase aid to Ukraine as the war intensifies in the Donbas region.
Ukrainian Legislators Come to Washington
Ukrainian legislators arrived in Washington this week in an envoy led by Oleksandra Ustinova, a member of the Verkhovna Rada representing the Holos party. Joined by a number of anti-corruption activists, the legislators asked the United States to continue sending weapons to Ukraine.
Specifically, the legislators requested U.S. jets, including the F-16 and F-15, multiple rocket launch systems, and other advanced air defenses. So far, though, the United States has relied largely on deals with eastern European countries willing to supply Soviet-era vehicles and weapons to Ukraine. In exchange, the United States sent American-made weapons and equipment to replace the Soviet equipment gifted to Ukraine.
Ustinova stressed the importance of the continued supply of weapons to Ukraine.
“Everyone thinks because it’s not on TV 24/7 that it’s kind of getting better, that the war is not there,” she said. “Unfortunately, we keep losing many more men now than at the beginning of the war. It’s much worse on the battlefield, now.”
$40 Billion Package Currently On Hold
A bipartisan $40 billion aid package for Ukraine is currently on hold after Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky called for changes to be made to the bill. Blocking a quick passage of the bill, Paul ensured that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer must now go through several procedural steps to pass the bill in a vote.
While the bill is still expected to pass, it will likely take several more days after Paul refused a vote on his amendment and insisted it was added to the underlying bill.
Under Paul’s amendment, the role of a special inspector general would be established to monitor how Ukraine uses the money. The amendment has support on both sides of the aisle and may also pass – however, making a change to the bill at this stage would slow down the speed at which aid is given to Ukraine.
For that reason alone, Paul is likely to see his proposed changes rejected in the coming days and the bill passed.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.