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Kuleba on US State Department statement: Aid reduction not related to 2024

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk January 5, 2024 10:55 PM 2 min read
Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba speaks with the Kyiv Independent in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Dec. 19, 2023. (Olena Zashko / The Kyiv Independent)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Commenting on an earlier statement by a U.S. official that Washington may not provide aid to Kyiv on the level of the 2022-2023 period, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba clarified on Jan. 5 that this was not in reference to U.S. support in 2024.

The decrease referred to a future situation when Ukraine can stand on its feet and counter Russian aggression, Kuleba told journalist Vadym Karpiak in an interview published on Instagram.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said on Jan. 4 that Washington is committed to supporting Ukraine for "as long as it takes," but that does not mean the same level of military funding as was provided in the past two years.

Such support should not be necessary as the U.S.'s ultimate goal is to help Ukraine become more self-reliant and help the country rebuild its industrial and military base, Miller added.

"This (statement) is not about support in the year 2024. The State Department said that once Ukraine is firmly on its feet and has enough weapons and resources to counter Russian aggression, the support amount may be reduced," Kuleba commented.

"It is not about a reduction in 2024 because, as the State Department's representative said himself, Ukraine still currently... needs support in the declared amount."

Miller's comments come as other U.S. officials have acknowledged that there is essentially no money left for Ukraine aid absent legislative action by Congress.

The U.S. has been mired in an ongoing debate about authorized new funding for Ukraine, which has become an increasingly partisan issue. Senate Republicans blocked a bill containing $61 billion in aid for Ukraine in early December largely for domestic political reasons.

Seeing foreign supplies becoming less certain, Ukraine has been increasingly focused on upping its domestic military-industrial capacity, which President Volodymyr Zelensky said had tripled in 2023.

US domestic political turmoil threatens to undermine support for Ukraine
The Republican party has increasingly soured on continuing to support Ukraine, often citing economic reasons. However, what ultimately doomed the Dec. 6 vote was the mixing of U.S. aid to Ukraine with other political issues, namely domestic border security and the U.S. aid for longtime ally Israel.
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