The United States announced Thursday that it would speed up air defense systems deliveries for Ukraine to help it confront a surge in Russian air raids.
"The United States government has made the difficult but necessary decision to reprioritize near term plan deliveries of foreign military sales to other countries have particularly patriot and may send missiles to go to Ukraine instead," the White House National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby said in a press briefing.
He argued that Russia, in the recent months, has accelerated both domestic and external attacks against Ukrainian cities and civilians.
"They are trying to destroy Ukraine's energy system out of this winter again, this is not a new tactic for them, but they have certainly applied a lot more energy and effort into it in recent months," he said.
The US official affirmed that this decision demonstrates his country's commitment to supporting our partners when they're in existential danger.
"We're gonna make sure that we give Ukraine the typical air defense capabilities they need now and into the future," he said.
"What I can tell you is that we expected the first shipments from this reprioritization will happen over coming weeks, certainly before the end of the summer, Ukraine will start to see the initial deliveries of these." He pointed out that the scope of the deliveries that were given to Ukraine will span over the rest of this fiscal year and, of course, all next fiscal year. So about 16 months, will be the focus of the timeframe to fill out Ukraine's inventory. And then after that, the countries that have been asked to delay will start to get their deliveries.
Kirby, however, made it clear that this reprioritization will not affect deliveries to Taiwan.
Commenting on the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent criticism to President Joe Biden, Kirby said the comments were unexpected and disappointing to the US administration.
"Obviously, we didn't know that video was coming. And it was perplexing, to say the least certainly disappointing," he said.
"There's no other country that's done more or will continue to do more than the United States to help Israel defend itself so those comments will deeply disappointing and certainly vexing the US." Kirby denied any impact of Biden-Netanyahu tensions on "shared objective getting all the hostages out, getting this deal in place, getting a ceasefire in place. And trying to find a way to end the war".
"Again, it was vexing and disappointing to us, as much as it was incorrect, so difficult to know exactly what was on his mind," he regretted.
He disclosed that National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan is meeting Thursday with the Israeli Minister of strategic affairs Ron Dermer. (end) rsr.ibi

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