Biden Admin Freezes Sale of Lethal Arms to Ukraine Amid Russian Military Buildup
How do you feel about the Biden administration freezing a lethal arms sale to Ukraine amid Russia’s military buildup?
What’s the story?
- The Biden administration has frozen a $100 million military aid package for Ukraine that includes lethal defensive weaponry amid Russia’s buildup of military forces along Ukraine’s border for what it claims are training exercises, according to a report by Politico.
- The arms sale was prepared in response to a military buildup by Russia along its border with Ukraine and in Crimea, the Ukrainian territory Russia forcibly annexed in 2014. Russia began the buildup earlier this spring, as more than 100,000 troops, armored vehicles, and heavy artillery were moved to the region.
- The maneuvers brought Russian troop levels in the region to an even higher level than what was seen during the 2014 invasion, which prompted alarm among American, NATO, and Ukrainian officials. The National Security Council moved to prepare the lethal arms package earlier this year, but it then put the sale on hold in the lead-up to Biden’s summit with Putin when Russian officials said they would reduce their force levels near Ukraine.
- However, Russia has only withdrawn a fraction of its troops since that announcement, with Ukrainian officials telling Al Jazeera that there were still 100,000 Russian troops near the border in May, while Biden officials told the New York Times the number of Russian troops was closer to 80,000. Russia has kept much of its heavy weaponry in the region ahead of planned exercises with Belarus in the area later this year and indicated it intends to base more troops in the area over the next year.
- The arms package, which hasn’t yet been canceled outright and may still go forward, would reportedly include Javelin anti-tank missiles, surface-to-air missile systems, and small arms for the Ukrainian military.
- The decision to freeze the provision of lethal weaponry to bolster Ukraine’s defensive capabilities could be viewed as undercutting the public remarks made by Biden after his summit with Putin when he told a press conference:
“I communicated the United States’ unwavering commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.”
- It’s unclear at this time when or if the Biden administration will unfreeze the lethal arms sale to allow it to proceed. A separate arms sale for Ukraine valued at $150 million that includes non-lethal military aid ― including unarmed drones, radar systems, and radios ― is expected to go forward.
- U.S. military aid to Ukraine has proven controversial in the past. The Obama administration was criticized for not providing lethal defensive aid to Ukraine after Russia’s 2014 invasion of Eastern Ukraine and annexation of Crimea. The Trump administration approved arms sales to Ukraine which included lethal weaponry in 2017 and again in 2019.
- Trump faced his first impeachment inquiry after he blocked (and later allowed) an arms sale to Ukraine in 2019 after a phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which he encouraged Ukraine to investigate the Biden family’s business dealings in the country, which Zelensky ultimately declined to pursue.
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Ministry of Defense of Ukraine photo by Taras Gren via Flickr / Creative Commons)
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Biden’s foreign policies are a joke! No one, no one is afraid of him. He shut down the keystone pipeline and allowed Russia to open the pipeline to Germany. Which led the US to become more reliant on OPEC for fuel. This administration is destroying America.
It is a deal comrade Biden made with Putin. Why did Biden give his approval of the Russian Pipeline and shutdown our pipeline. And all you guys thought it was Trump and Putin.
Putin aggressive nature yes arm them
If you're going to talk the talk, you have to walk the walk. Mr. Putin needs to be aware of his real position in the world and strength is the only thing he understands.
Biden is covering up a set of corrupt dealings by throwing a whole country under the bus.
If Trump would of done this, he would be impeached. This is being utilized as a bargaining chip. Shame on you Biden for playing these games.
Are the Dems ready to concede more of the Ukraine to Russia's land grab?
Ukraine surrendered one of the largest nuclear arsenals, if not THE largest on the planet. They could’ve been used it to bring the US to the negotiating table in an aggressive manner. Think North Korea but hundreds of times worse. They could’ve used it to leverage their way onto the world stage a provide one of the biggest threats to world peace since the Cold War. But they didn’t. They surrendered one of the deadliest assets of mankind. They did this largely in part because major nations such as the US promised to defend its sovereignty. And now here we are. Russia is putting more military personnel at the border than ever before and the President picks this moment to freeze the little help we’ve been giving them. If this is what “tough on Russia” looks like than we certainly have problems.
Well Joe does what Vlad tells Joe to do. Hunter has new job in Russian oil.
Yeah yeah violence and war is no good but the Russian war machine needs to be dealt with and we have no place dealing with other countries crap we only need to deal with own - we have done enough
I think we should help the Ukrainian people ! We should sale lethal arms to Ukraine so it can protect them from the Russian s .
Why are we not freezing sales to Israel??
Ukraine needs arms to defend themselves from Russian take over! ARM Ukraine!
What's going on here? I need more info.
Seems to me that Ukraine has been struggling hard to be a democracy and I believe that the US and nato need to support their efforts. Have no trust in anything that Russia claims!!
How nice that Russia withdrew a few troops! There is still a huge force on that border capable of quickly sweeping the country and bringing democracy there to a bitter and painful end. Keep in mind as well, that a huge portion of the country is still occupied by Russia's invading forces! We need to help this democratic country defend itself in the face of these Russian threats!
The career tough-talking dimwit in charge is likely withholding the aid as he's done in the past for the same reason - his son or brother are in need of a paycheck. Old illegit Joe is fading fast despite being propped-up by handlers. Sorry libs but your decision to vote for him is going to end badly.
Reminds me of Trump's abandonment of the Kurds. Shame on POTUS Biden. Don't believe Putin. Help Ukraine.
Sell them everything they want. Keep Americans employed and money coming into the country not going out of the country. Like the Biden regime seems to like to happen. Other than that stay out of foreign affairs with US military personnel or US spending. Until the United States government can provide free healthcare for all of its citizens. Take care of your family and feed your family before do you feed and take care of others