Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Russia says US making billions at cost of Ukrainian lives

Kiev needs to understand that Washington earns billions on the war in Ukraine while ordinary Ukrainians die, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has stressed.

Peskov was speaking a day after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken admitted that the overwhelming majority of Kiev’s monetary aid had been spent in the US.

“90% of the security assistance we’ve provided has actually been spent here in the United States with our manufacturers,” he said at a briefing alongside UK Foreign Minister David Cameron, adding, “So this has also been a win-win that we need to continue.”

Asked to comment on the statement, Peskov stated at a press conference on Friday that the US earns billions from the conflict, and that Ukraine needs to understand it.

“They aren’t the main concern for the US,” the spokesman remarked, “the main concern for the US was always themselves, even at the cost of a large number of Ukrainian lives.”

The US has pledged more than $100 billion in aid, including military equipment, since the start of Moscow’s military operation in February 2022 – more than any of Ukraine’s other sponsors.

Blinken’s statement on the benefits to the US military-industrial complex echo Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin’s remarks at the Reagan National Defense Forum in California last week. “$50 billion of our supplemental budget request would flow through our defense industrial base,” to replenish the arms stocks depleted from being used to supply Ukraine, the US defense secretary declared.

He summed it up as “the most ambitious modernization effort in nearly 40 years”.

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev suggested on X (formerly Twitter) that the US is not motivated by a desire to help Ukraine, but rather by “the enormous profit that the companies close to the Biden administration get from it”.

Meanwhile, a lack of success at the front has only increased Kiev’s pleas for more funding. At the US Institute of Peace on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s chief of staff, Andrey Yermak, warned that delaying US military aid exposes Kiev to a “big risk to lose this war”.

The administration of US President Joe Biden has been wrestling with Republican lawmakers in the past few weeks to push through another supplemental budget request of $111 billion, of which more than half is intended for Ukraine.

After the budget request was blocked in the Senate, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby had to admit in a press conference that the White House could not offer any assurances to Kiev.

“We’re not in a position to make that promise to Ukraine, given where things are on the Hill.”

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