On Tuesday, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said that Ukraine has received aircraft and spare parts for its aircraft from other countries. However, he noted, the United States helped move parts, but not deliver entire planes. Aid to Ukraine will also be the subject of Wednesday’s talks between the US and Polish defense ministers, the spokesman said.
“Without going into what other countries have said, I would say that they (the Ukrainians) have acquired additional platforms and parts so that they can increase the size of their aircraft fleet,” Kirby said at a press conference. He added that as a result of this assistance, Ukraine has had aircraft for more than two weeks. He also noted that the United States helped move some, but not all, planes.
Referring to Wednesday’s visit by the Chief of the Ministry of National Defense Marius Pasachak, and the meeting with the head of the Pentagon, Lloyd Austin, the spokesman announced that the situation in Ukraine and military aid would be one of the main topics of the talks. Austin will also discuss this with the Czech Defense Minister on Thursday. The official also stated that he is not currently holding detailed talks about the future permanent deployment of US forces in Europe.
“We are having initial discussions here in this building about what our long-term deployment should be, and we would be foolish not to, given the changing security situation in Europe,” Kirby said. “But when it comes to detailed negotiations with other countries about where to rotate the forces and where they should be permanent or what the numbers are, we are not there yet,” he added.
Asked why military aid to Ukraine is arriving “in pieces,” Kirby assessed that each package is tailored to the current needs of Ukraine’s armed forces and the nature of the fighting, as well as Ukraine’s ability to accept them. He added that the United States was in constant contact with Ukraine on Kyiv’s needs.
Asked about the situation in Russia’s besieged Mariupol, where Ukrainian forces are defending themselves on the premises of the Azovstal plant, a ministry spokesman said the fall of the city should not be an imposed consequence.
“The Ukrainians, of course, want to keep Mariupol (…) and they are fighting boldly for it. I will not imagine how long they will last, and frankly, we are not ready to accept what some critics say “the collapse is inevitable”.
From Washington, Oscar Gorzinski
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