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US military aid to Ukraine will run out by end of year, warns White House

American Abrams tanks have been deployed on the front line in Ukraine
American Abrams tanks have been deployed on the front line in Ukraine

American military aid to Ukraine will run out by the end of the year, the White House warned on Monday, adding that Russia will make battlefield gains unless Congress agrees new funds for Kyiv.

“Cutting off the flow of US weapons and equipment will kneecap Ukraine on the battlefield, not only putting at risk the gains Ukraine has made but increasing the likelihood of Russian military victories,” Shalanda Young, the White House’s budget chief, wrote in a letter to congressional leaders.

Her stark assessment of what will happen if Washington is unable to continue providing weapons to Ukraine comes as Joe Biden pushes for $106 billion in emergency funds for his foreign policy priorities.

The president has repeatedly urged hardline Republicans in Congress to continue funding Kyiv’s struggles against the Russian invasion, arguing that the support is vital to America’s security.

Shalanda Young, the White House’s budget chief, said US aid to Ukraine was critical
Shalanda Young, the White House’s budget chief, said US aid to Ukraine was critical - Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters

“I want to be clear – without congressional action, by the end of the year we will run out of resources to procure more weapons and equipment for Ukraine and to provide equipment from US military stocks,” Ms Young wrote in her letter to party leaders in Congress and the Senate.

‌“There is no magical pot of funding available to meet this moment. We are out of money – and nearly out of time.”

She said the Pentagon had used 97 per cent of the $62.3 billion it had received to support Ukraine as of mid-November, while the State Department had exhausted all of the $4.7 billion it was allocated for security assistance.

‌“Already, our packages of security assistance have become smaller and the deliveries of aid have become more limited,” she wrote.‌ “If our security assistance stops, it will cause significant issues for Ukraine. While our allies around the world have stepped up to do more, US support is critical and cannot be replicated by others.”

Ms Young also made it clear that Ukraine requires economic support to maintain its fight against Vladimir Putin’s invasion.‌‌ “If Ukraine’s economy collapses, they will not be able to keep fighting, full stop,” she warned.

“Putin understands this well, which is why Russia has made destroying Ukraine’s economy central to its strategy – which you can see in its attacks against Ukraine’s grain exports and energy infrastructure.”

The White House warning comes amid mounting concerns that EU leaders will fail to broker a budget agreement that would provide Kyiv with €50 billion.

A second EU fund of €20 billion to send weapons to Ukraine for four years is also in doubt because of the divisions between national capitals.

Meanwhile, an account of Ukraine’s counter-offensive revealed deep divisions between military planners in Kyiv and Washington.

US officials were said to have been frustrated by Ukraine’s unwillingness to focus its assault on a single axis and suggested the attack had come too late, leaving Moscow time to prepare, The Washington Post reported.

Their Ukrainian counterparts complained that tanks and armoured fighting vehicles arrived too late or even broken ahead of the fight, which they said was unlike anything Nato forces had experienced before.

Of the eight “tabletop” war games carried out by US and UK planners, a senior Ukrainian military official said: “All these methods … you can take them neatly and throw them away, you know? And throw them away because it doesn’t work like that now.”