The flow of US weapons to Ukraine might be cut off, at least temporarily, unless Congress quickly approves nearly $40 billion in new spending to help Kiev repel Russia’s offensive in the former Soviet republic, the Pentagon has warned.
“May 19 is the day we really, without additional authorities, we begin to not have the ability to send new stuff in . . .,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Friday. “By the 19th of May, it’ll start impacting our ability to provide aid uninterrupted.”
Weapons shipments to Kiev wouldn’t immediately stop on May 20 without new funding because there would still be some supplies in the pipeline purchased under the approximately $100 million in spending authority that the Pentagon currently has remaining for Ukraine aid, Kirby said. However, he added, but by losing its ability to source new cargoes, the Pentagon would face “a period of time with nothing moving” if there’s an extended delay in the new funding approval.
“We’ve been moving at a fairly fast clip here, both in terms of the individual packages that have been approved and how fast that stuff is getting into Ukrainian hands,” Kirby said. “Literally, every day, there are things going in, and we would like to continue to be able to continue that pace for as long as we can.”