Peston: Kurt Volker blasts Biden over refusal to further aid Ukraine’s ‘war for survival’

Mr Volker was critical of the speed of the US response, saying the delays in providing certain aid has cost lives. “We have done a lot, including a billion dollars in military assistance to Ukraine this year and devastating sanctions but we have done all of it late, and we have done half-steps before we then follow through and do more.

“We said that we weren’t going to do sanctions on SWIFT, keeping Russian banks out of SWIFT and then we did. 

“We said we weren’t going to sanction Nord Stream 2 and then we did.”

He added: “These are things where all of it could have been done further upstream and have more of an impact on saving lives than the way we have gone about it.”

The Minister of Foreign Affairs in Poland issued a statement on Tuesday which stated the Warsaw is “ready to deploy – immediately and free of charge – all their MIG-29 jets to the Ramstein Air Base and place them at the disposal of the Government of the United States of America”. 

The unexpected offer was met with shock from Washington and on Wednesday President Biden rejected the proposal.

The Pentagon’s Press Secretary, John Kirby, stated: “Adding aircraft to the Ukrainian inventory is not likely to significantly change the effectiveness of the Ukrainian air force relative to Russian capabilities.

“Therefore, we believe that the gain from transferring those Mig-29s is low. 

“The intelligence community has assessed that the transfer of Mig-29s to Ukraine may be mistaken as escalatory and could result in significant Russian reaction.”

The Pentagon deemed the transfer to be high-risk but noted it was grateful for support of Polish allies.

READ MORE:Russia threatens another Salisbury-like attack over Ukraine

He added: “They want support from the United States. 

“They want top cover from the United States. 

“We should be offering that. 

“We are giving the Ukrainians all kinds of other weapon systems javelins that take out tanks, stinger missiles that take out aircraft, why not give them aircraft as well?”

In response to the “horrific” civilian bombings, Mr Volker said “we cannot stand by and just allow that to happen”.

The Former US Ambassador to NATO declared his support for “a limited no-fly zone”. 

He claimed it “puts the onus on Putin to do decide does he want to draw us into the conflict and to fire upon his facilities at a time when the war is already going badly for him”.

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