NATO Leader Warns of Consequences as U.S. Funding Delay Affecting Ukraine’s Defense Against Russia

Stalled U.S. funding for Ukraine affecting fight against Russia, says NATO head

Congress’ inability to advance legislation concerning new weapons shipments for Ukraine is resonating on the battlefield, as highlighted by the head of NATO, while the Biden administration issues warnings about the potential repercussions of Russia’s advancement in eastern Ukraine without increased U.S. support.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg underscored the ramifications of the U.S.’s delay in decision-making, stressing its impact during a press conference in Brussels, where defense ministers from NATO members convened for discussions. Stoltenberg expressed his anticipation for a resolution from the American side despite the ongoing impasse.

For months, the Biden administration has urged Congress to pass legislation earmarking funds for arms provision to Ukraine. However, Republican resistance, particularly regarding funding concerns and the absence of backing for border security, has stalled progress.

NATO Chief Warns of Consequences as U.S. Funding Delay Affecting Ukraine's Defense Against Russia
NATO Chief Warns of Consequences as U.S. Funding Delay Affecting Ukraine’s Defense Against Russia (Credits: Barron’s)

Last week, after extensive negotiations, the U.S. Senate finally passed a bill allocating $60 billion for Ukraine. Nonetheless, opposition is expected in the Republican-controlled House, with House Speaker Mike Johnson asserting that the GOP will not be coerced into endorsing a foreign aid bill devoid of measures to secure the U.S. border.

Stoltenberg remains optimistic about the prospects of Congress reaching an agreement imminently, citing widespread support for Ukraine among lawmakers. He referenced a joint statement with Johnson affirming opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine, emphasizing the necessity for unified NATO support to prevent a victory for Putin, which would pose a threat beyond Ukraine’s borders.

Addressing the shortfall in U.S. support, Stoltenberg acknowledged the potential for NATO allies to mitigate the gap, emphasizing the imperative for sustained backing. Nevertheless, he emphasized the urgency for the United States, historically Ukraine’s primary supporter in its ongoing conflict with Russia, to reaffirm its commitment through decisive action.

Meanwhile, in Washington, White House National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby underscored the immediate consequences of delayed U.S. action, warning of the imminent threat to the Ukrainian city of Avdiivka in eastern Donetsk Oblast.

Kirby attributed the perilous situation to a depletion of artillery ammunition among Ukrainian forces and reiterated the urgency for Congress to approve the supplemental bill to facilitate essential support.

The 3rd Assault Brigade, entrenched in the Avdiivka region, described the dire circumstances on the ground, facing relentless assaults from multiple Russian brigades. Amidst the escalating crisis, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reassured the public of ongoing efforts to bolster defenses and minimize casualties.

Kirby emphasized the urgency of congressional action, underscoring the stark consequences of inaction. He implored House Republicans to expedite the passage of the supplemental funding bill, emphasizing the potential escalation of conflict along the front lines if decisive measures are not taken promptly.

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