The United States will urge allies around the world during a monthly defense meeting on Tuesday to continue supporting Ukraine in its war with Russia, despite running out of funding to do so itself.
The U.S. has hosted this monthly gathering since April 2022 and has been Ukraine’s chief financier during that span, but it will now have to do so for the first time without available funds to give to Ukraine. Instead, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will have to convince about 50 countries to continue sending ammunition and missiles to Ukraine and to keep bridging the gap in support until Congress passes a budget with money for Ukraine’s fight.
According to deputy Pentagon press secretary Sabrina Singh, Tuesday’s meeting will focus on Ukraine’s longer-term needs.
“Even though we aren’t able to provide our security assistance right now, our partners are continuing to do that,” Singh said.
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Austin’s appearance at the meeting will be virtual as he is still recuperating at his home from prostate cancer surgery.
The U.S. has been emptying its stockpiles to assist Ukraine and has been using Congress-allocated funding to replenish these reserves. However, it has run out of money and has not been able to provide additional munitions since December 2023.
The last security assistance for Ukraine was sent on Dec. 27. It was a $250 million package that included 155 mm rounds, Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and other high-demand items, the Pentagon announced.
The ability of the Defense Department to continue funding Ukraine’s war with Russia as well as Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza hinges on policy priorities between the White House and the U.S. Congress, including funding disagreements between the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate and the Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.
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More than $110 billion in aid for both Ukraine and Israel is currently stalled over these disagreements.
Meanwhile, the war shows no signs of ending soon.
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Russia continues to escalate attacks in the new year and has shown no willingness to end the conflict. On Monday, the United Nations ruled out any peace plan backed by Kyiv and the West.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.