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Pentagon: Lack of funding prevents US from meeting Ukraine's most urgent battlefield needs

by Kateryna Hodunova January 24, 2024 1:25 PM 2 min read
Pentagon Spokesperson Gen. Pat Ryder at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia on Oct. 31, 2023. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
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Without Congress's approval for additional aid to Ukraine, the lack of funding prevents the U.S. from meeting Ukraine's most urgent battlefield needs, including maintenance of already provided equipment, Pentagon spokesperson Patrick Ryder said during a press briefing on Jan. 23.

After the last meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG) on Jan. 23, Ukraine’s officials received commitments on new weapon supplies from other allies.

The U.S. government has not provided any military aid to Ukraine for the first time since the Ramstein-format meeting of the UDCG was established in April 2022.

The negotiations were conducted amid increasing uncertainty about the future of Western support for Ukraine as over $100 billion in U.S. and EU military and financial aid remain stalled by domestic political turmoil.

"The continued lack of funding has forced us to pause drawing down additional items from our inventories, given the implications for our own military readiness," Pentagon spokesperson Patrick Ryder said during the briefing on Jan. 23.

"This, of course, prevents us from meeting Ukraine's most urgent battlefield needs to include things like artillery rounds, anti-tank weapons, air defense interceptors," he added.

According to Ryder, the Pentagon continues to "work closely" with Congress and insists on providing supplemental funding as soon as possible.

Ryder also confirmed that the U.S. did not supply Ukraine with any material aid after the last Ramstein-format online meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group on Jan. 23. He added the U.S. continues to provide support in training and leadership via the capability coalitions.

"In the longer term, we would really appreciate the support of Congress," he said.

Pentagon spokesperson also said that the security threat not only to Ukraine but to the whole international community is real as Russia continues to demonstrate an intent to fight against Ukraine and to occupy its territories.

U.S. President Joe Biden signed the last U.S. $250 million aid package for Ukraine on Dec. 27, including ammunition for anti-aircraft warfare, multiple launch rocket systems, artillery, anti-tank mines, and others.

Before that, a supplemental funding bill, including $61 billion in aid for Ukraine, had been blocked due to disputes in Congress, stalling further financial support for Kyiv.

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