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Ukraine wants US radar systems – Politico

Western military aid is drying up despite Kiev’s demands for more

Ukraine is seeking Sentinel short-range radar systems in its next military aid package from the US, Politico reported on Tuesday, citing a source close to the discussions between Washington and Kiev. The request comes amid the West’s apparent reluctance to send more advanced arms to Ukraine, choosing instead to supply older weaponry.  

According to Politico, the request for Sentinel systems is “a far cry from the Abrams tanks, F-16s and Army Tactical Missile Systems [ATACMS],” but is nonetheless “critical to [Ukraine] getting through the winter.”   

In particular, the radar system could help to “protect factories where Ukrainians intend to build their own weapons, rather than import them, once they enlist the help of Western defense firms,” the outlet added.   

Ukraine has blamed its failing counteroffensive efforts on the West’s apparent reluctance to provide it with more weapons. Discussing the matter, former deputy chief of the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Igor Romanenko, told Al Jazeera that “strategic objectives have not been achieved this year” and admitted that any breakthrough was “hardly possible” by the end of 2023.    

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“Weaponry should be supplied on time, not the way our allies are doing it,” Romanenko said, citing lengthy delays in the delivery and quality of military aid. Despite official requests for specific arms a year ago, Western backers “still didn’t supply even the types of arms that had been agreed upon,” he claimed.  

There were also concerns in Kiev that the upcoming winter would be tough due to Russian strikes on infrastructure. Ukraine’s power plants, including those that support its military industrial complex, have been among Russian targets since Kiev’s 2022 attack on the Crimean Bridge.  

Ukraine remains “utterly dependent” on US aid for the functioning of its civilian and military infrastructure, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told CNBC on Monday, calling it a “critical priority.”    

However, future US aid for Kiev appears to be doubt as Congress has not agreed on a funding package that satisfies both Republicans and Democrats. Last week, a bipartisan spending bill without money for Ukraine or Israel was agreed upon by US lawmakers on both sides, as a stopgap measure to keep government running through early 2024.

November 22, 2023 at 10:41PM

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