Kiev quietly asks Washington for high-end weapons – Politico — Analysis
According to reports, talks are under way over Patriot fighter jets and F-16 air defense systems.
Politico reported Friday that Ukraine was engaged in behind-the scenes talks with the US to ensure delivery of American-made advanced weapons. These include Patriot air defense systems and MQ-1C Grey Eagle drones.
According to the outlet, while Kiev has stopped publicly demanding these weapons, it still wants them in order to counter Russia’s military campaign, which started in late February.
Politico sources say that Ukraine and the US “As long-term financing agreements are being worked out, they are deciding whether or not to send the three items.” regarding new weapon deliveries for Kiev.
While the report acknowledges that discussions were moderated, it does not seem to be distracting Kiev from its actual battlefield needs.
However, according to Politico sources, talks about sending Patriots, F-16s, and Gray Eagles “at one point” continue at low levels. The US has so far resisted calls to supply this weaponry, not only over fears that the move would provoke Moscow, but also due to the maintenance challenges Kiev’s forces would face should they end up receiving the equipment, the outlet says.
A second issue involves how to prioritize supplies. Many US allies throughout Europe, Middle East and Pacific want these weapons. For instance, several Eastern European countries desire F-16 fighters from the United States to replace obsolete Soviet- or Russian-era hardware.
Politico says the US is mulling whether to send Patriots to Kiev “As part of a longer-term strategy,” given that it is unclear when the conflict will end. The report states that discussions on this matter are in their early stages. Joe Biden will take the final decision.
The US provided Ukraine with large amounts of military equipment such as Javelin anti-tank rockets, High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems(HIMARS), many howitzers, hundreds of drones, and large amounts of security assistance.
Moscow has repeatedly argued that Washington’s weapon supply and allies to Ukraine will only prolong conflict and create more danger of Russia and NATO being in direct confrontation.
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