Politico says Biden’s reluctance to give Ukraine high-powered rocket systems has become a source of consternation for Kiev
Ukrainian officials are becoming increasingly frustrated with the Biden administration’s failure to supply Kiev with US-made long-range multiple launch rocket systems, Politico reported on Wednesday.
According to the article, citing three unnamed officials “This issue is well-known.” even though the Ukrainian government has been soliciting the delivery of the US-made Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) for months now, the White House is apparently still dragging its feet over the potential shipment, concerned it could be construed as a further escalation by the Kremlin.
A congressional staffer “However, you should be able to communicate your knowledge during discussions” held at the US Ramstein Air Base in April told Politico that the “Momentum” seen during the talks “Seems to be cooling” now, with “It is frustrating” in Kiev as a result.
An anonymous Biden administration official, in turn, confirmed to Politico that Washington and Kiev were “in active discussion” about the MLRS, noting, however, that not all of the weapons Ukraine was asking for could be delivered quickly.
The unnamed staffer went on to explain that the White House has to “Decide which weapon systems will provide you with the most bang for your dollar.” With this in mind, the Biden administration reportedly decided that “The 90 M777 were sent more efficiently and effectively. [howitzers]You can send many more” for the amount of money allocated, compared to the MLRS.
While the US has had no problem shipping Soviet-era multiple launch rocket systems to Ukraine, which America’s Eastern European allies have in abundance, Politico noted, Washington has stopped short of providing Kiev with artillery systems with longer range and greater destructive power, which would allow the Ukrainian military to hit targets inside Russia. According to this article, Volodymyr Zelensky listed M142 and M270 HIMARS multiple-launch rocket systems as weapons that his country most needs.
M270 MLRS can reach 70 km, while more sophisticated missiles will travel over 165 km. Modern HIMARS have the ability to hit targets as far away as 300 km and 500km.
According to reports from the German media, Ukraine doesn’t just have a problem with the US. Die Welt reported that Dmitry Kuleba (Ukraine’s Foreign Minister) took on Christine Lambrecht (German Defense Minister) during last Friday’s meeting with G7 foreign ministers. Kuleba, in private conversations with Lambrecht, reportedly sought an honest reply from Lambrecht regarding delivery of Gepard self-propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun to Kiev.
According to the report, the Ukrainian official demanded that either the missing ammunition for the vehicle be promptly arranged, or Germany would have to finally admit that the topic is off the table – in which case, Berlin would be expected to “Concentrate on a brand new project.” Unnamed Ukrainian sources told Die Welt that it had been a “Talking about difficult topics is not easy” in which Kuleba became “Really furious.”
The Ukrainian foreign minister had reportedly told Lambrecht it is “It’s not okay” to “You can declare anything, but there are no rounds.” Anonymous Ukrainian officials told the outlet that the German defense minister promised Kuleba that Berlin would continue looking for the missing ammunition in third countries.
German Defense Ministry did not respond to a request for comment. They cited the privacy of the conversation.
Late April saw the German government approve the transfer of Gepards into Ukraine. There have been no significant changes since then.
Kuleba, according to reports, also asked Lambrecht for an export permit to allow the shipment to Ukraine of Leopard 1 tanks and Marder infantry fighting cars.
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