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Ukrainian foreign minister agrees with Kremlin

US aid won’t be enough to stop Russian forces, Dmitry Kuleba has said

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba has praised the US Senate’s decision to approve a $61 billion funding package, but warned that it won’t be enough to make a difference on the battlefield.

After months of wrangling, Republicans caved in to the ruling Democrats and backed the White House aid proposal in a 79-18 vote on Tuesday night. 

“Hallelujah,” Kuleba told The Guardian in an exclusive interview on Wednesday, revealing that Kiev had been making a religious appeal to the evangelical Republicans.

“No single package can stop the Russians,” he added. “What will stop the Russians is a united front of all of Ukraine and all of its partners.”

According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, whatever weapons and ammunition the US and its allies end up sending to Kiev won’t change the “dynamics on the front line,” where Russian forces have made significant advances in recent weeks. The only thing the new US aid will do is get more Ukrainians killed, Peskov said.

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Kuleba urged the West to ramp up military production, because Ukraine is running out of air defenses and Russia had a ten-to-one advantage in artillery shells.

“When I see what Russia achieved in building up its defense industrial base in two years of the war and what the West has achieved, I think something is wrong on the part of the West,” Kuleba said. “The West has to realize the era of peace in Europe is over.”

The Ukrainian foreign minister urged Kiev’s allies to switch from “expressing condolences and sympathy to Ukrainians and promising to help with recovery, to preventing loss of life and destruction of the country” by giving it more weapons and ammunition.

While Kuleba put a brave face on Kiev’s situation, Ukrainian soldiers who spoke to the Financial Times over the weekend seemed more pessimistic. US aid might help slow down the Russians but it won’t stop them, several officers told the outlet. No amount of Western weapons and ammunition can solve Kiev’s lack of manpower, they added.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova argued that the US was using Ukrainians as “cannon fodder,” and hoping to keep Kiev on life support until after the November presidential election. In the end, she said, the US will end up facing a “loud and humiliating fiasco on a par with Vietnam or Afghanistan.”

April 24, 2024 at 09:07PM
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