‘US help for Ukraine is not too late’


The necessary Senate approval is considered certain and is expected in the middle of the week. President Joe Biden, a strong supporter of the bill, must then sign it into law…reports Asian Lite News

The US House of Representatives approval — after months of wrangling — of a nearly $61 billion military aid package for Ukraine has not come too late, but the delay has had real consequences, NATO’s Chief Jens Stoltenberg said.

“The Ukrainians are now four months being outgunned,” Stoltenberg told US broadcaster MSNBC on Sunday.

“The Russians have had much more ammunition. And Ukraine has been forced to ration their ammunition,” the NATO Chief said.

“But it’s not too late. The Ukrainians have demonstrated enormous skill in defending their country.”

On Saturday, after months of deadlock, the US House of Representatives approved the multibillion-dollar aid package by an overwhelming bipartisan majority. It includes urgently needed arms supplies for defence against Russia.

The necessary Senate approval is considered certain and is expected in the middle of the week. President Joe Biden, a strong supporter of the bill, must then sign it into law.

Stoltenberg emphasised that there are still no plans for a NATO combat presence in Ukraine. However, NATO partners have the right to help Ukraine. This does not make NATO a party to the conflict.

“But of course several NATO allies have men and women in uniform at the embassies, giving advice,” said the NATO Chief when asked about a Politico report on the deployment of additional US military advisors. The report said the US was considering sending additional advisers to its embassy in Kiev.

These advisers would not take part in combat operations, but would advise and support the Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian military, the report added.

Meanwhile, Russia said that US lawmakers’ support for $60.84 billion more in aid for Ukraine showed that Washington was wading much deeper into a hybrid war against Moscow that would end in humiliation on a par with the Vietnam or Afghanistan conflicts.

President Vladimir Putin’s 2022 full-scale invasion of Ukraine has touched off the worst fall-out in relations between Russia and the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, according to Russian and U.S. diplomats.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said it was clear that the United States wanted Ukraine “to fight to the last Ukrainian” including with attacks on Russian sovereign territory and civilians.

“Washington’s deeper and deeper immersion in the hybrid war against Russia will turn into a loud and humiliating fiasco for United States such as Vietnam and Afghanistan,” Zakharova said.

Russia, she said, will give “an unconditional and resolute response” to the U.S. move to get more involved in the Ukraine war.

Central Intelligence Agency Director William Burns warned last week that without more U.S. military support Ukraine could lose on the battlefield, but that with support Kyiv’s forces could hold their own this year.

The United States has repeatedly ruled out sending its own or other NATO-member troops to Ukraine, which is fighting a grinding artillery and drone war with Russia along a heavily fortified 1,000-km (600-mile) front.

The United States lost more than 58,000 military personnel in the 1955-75 Vietnam War, which ended with Communist North Vietnam’s victory and takeover of the South, while hundreds of thousands of civilians were killed.

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