ABC News Quoting an anonymous Ukrainian official, Washington has cut the supply of important ammunition according to NATO standards to Ukraine by “more than 30%” since the conflict with Israel – Hamas broke out early last month.
“155mm artillery shells are believed to be the most important ammunition for Ukraine in the fight against Russian forces, and part of the US stockpile, intended for Ukrainian forces, has been transferred to Israel,” the source said. speak.
In recent weeks, US officials have repeatedly said that Washington’s transfer of weapons to Israel will not have any impact on the war in Ukraine.
“US officials told us it would not affect the US commitment, but it did,” the Ukrainian official admitted.
The unnamed official said the supply of 155mm artillery shells accounted for “about 60-70% of Ukraine’s total supply”.
However, a senior US defense official told ABC News that the ammunition cuts to Ukraine “have absolutely nothing to do with what is happening in Gaza”.
In addition, Ukrainian officials also expressed concern that the deadlock in the US Congress could mean that weapons supplies to Ukraine will begin to dry up.
“We are in big trouble. Basic ammunition will not be supplied,” the official said, warning that if the situation continues to deteriorate, Ukraine risks losing its position on the battlefield “with a very expensive price”.
Earlier this month, the White House said that without congressional approval, Washington is running out of money to fund arms supplies to Ukraine, while one of the main assistance programs has exhausted its budget.
Over the weekend, President Joe Biden signed the temporary spending bill after it was passed by the Senate a day earlier. The allocated budget is somewhat limited, can only help the US prevent a government shutdown until early 2024 and there will be no aid package for Ukraine.
The issue of aid to Ukraine is one of the main causes of disagreement in US politics in recent times. The conflict even caused House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to be dismissed in September.
Over the weekend, Advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Mr. Mikhail Podoliak, said that the weapons that the West promised to aid Kiev should have taken only 1 week to hand over, but in fact the delivery was delayed. delayed for many months.
He also warned that the slow transfer of weapons to the West will allow Russia enough time to prepare strategic defense and that Moscow will have better defense capabilities when weapons are delivered to Ukraine.
According to expert Stephen Bryen at the Center for Security Policy and Yorktown Institute (USA), the Russia-Ukraine conflict shows that the West’s defense production capacity is not prepared for a major war.
The US and its allies have poured a series of weapons and ammunition into Ukraine over the past 21 months and many countries have faced ammunition depletion.