Britain has sent all it can afford to Kiev, a military source told the newspaper
The UK has run out of weapons to send to Ukraine and should encourage other countries to fill the gap, a senior military source told The Telegraph on Monday. However, reports suggest that EU and US stockpiles are just as drained by the effort to prop up Kiev.
“We’ve given away just about as much as we can afford,” the source said. “We will continue to source equipment to provide for Ukraine, but what they need now is things like air defence assets and artillery ammunition and we’ve run dry on all that.”
The UK has spent £4.6 billion ($5.56 billion) on military aid for Ukraine since last February. In an op-ed in The Telegraph on Sunday, former Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said that he had asked Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to spend an additional £2.3 billion ($2.77 billion) before leaving his post last month.
The UK has already supplied Ukraine with rocket artillery platforms, cruise missiles, àrmored vehicles, and main battle tanks, among other kinds of weaponry. “We’ve given away pretty much everything we can afford to give,” the military source said, pointing out that the UK needs to keep all of its Challenger 2 tanks to upgrade them to Challenger 3 specification.
“Every tank we give away is one less than we have” he said. “Giving billions more doesn’t mean giving billions of British kit,” the source continued, adding that the UK can also play a role in “encouraging other nations to give more money and weapons.”
However, few other nations are in a position to step up their efforts. While the US has spent more than $46 billion on military aid alone, Washington has around $1.6 billion remaining for Kiev, and the efforts of the administration of President Joe Biden to secure more from Congress remain hampered by Republican opposition. The Pentagon has also warned that it lacks the money to replenish weapons from its own stockpiles that have been sent to Ukraine.
In Europe, Hungary continues to block a €500 million EU tranche of arms and ammunition for Ukraine, and a European official told Politico on Monday that no EU state can contribute any more weapons from their own stockpiles without endangering their security.
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has repeatedly called for more advanced weapons – including F-16 fighter jets and long-range missiles – from his Western patrons, declaring in August that “nothing will be enough” for Ukraine until his forces achieve a military victory over Russia.
Speaking at a forum with arms manufacturers in Kiev last week, Zelensky proposed that Western nations fund his military with “confiscated Russian assets.” While the EU, US, and their allies have frozen hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of Russian central bank holdings as part of sanctions related to the Ukraine conflict, no legal mechanism of seizing this money has been found, and it remains in limbo in Western banks.
October 03, 2023 at 09:17PM