EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell has warned that Ukraine is in a “critical situation” due to the invasion by Russian forces and that Kyiv desperately needs ammunition “in a matter of weeks” or else the war could reach a devastating end. Borrell made the remarks at the Munich Security Conference on Feb. 19, expressing that “much more has to be done and much quicker” to increase and accelerate military support to Ukraine. He noted that it takes almost ten months for a European army to buy bullets for a canon of 155 mm and almost three years to buy an air-to-air missile, which is not in accordance with the current war situation.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken had previously warned that China is considering providing “lethal” military support to Russia to help with its efforts in Ukraine, including ammunition and weapons. Blinken said the U.S. government has been monitoring the situation closely and is concerned that Beijing is “considering providing lethal support,” which would cause a serious problem for U.S.-China relations. China has denied the accusations.
Borrell stated that Russia “cannot win this war” and that “Ukraine has to prevail,” but stressed that in order for this to happen, EU nations need to accelerate their military support to Ukraine. He added that since the beginning of Russia’s war against Ukraine, the EU and its member states have provided €12 billion ($12.8 billion) in military aid to Ukraine, including €3.6 billion ($3.8 billion) under the EU’s own off-budget fund. Decisions regarding supplying more ammunition at a faster pace to Ukraine will be made by the EU Ministers of Defence in an upcoming meeting on March 7 to 8.
President Joe Biden made an unexpected visit to Kyiv on Monday to meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, reiterating his pledge to provide continued support to Ukraine. During his visit, Biden announced an additional half-billion dollars in aid to Kyiv, on top of the more than $50 billion already provided by the United States, including howitzer shells, anti-tank missiles, and air surveillance radars. However, there was no mention of the new advanced weaponry that Zelenskyy has been seeking. Biden said it was critical that there not be any doubt about U.S. support for Ukraine in the war and that “freedom is priceless” and “worth fighting for, for as long as it takes.”