Kiev wants 'self-sufficiency? as arms supplies dwindle, but will need billions in Western aid to fund it, the news outlet has said
EU countries have given Ukraine all the arms they can without compromising their own defense, Politico has reported, citing a European official. Kiev is facing cuts to both arms supplies and cash injections as "cracks appear" in Western support, according to the outlet.
"We cannot keep on giving from our own stockpiles," the European source said as quoted on Monday. There may still be robust political support, but "we've given everything that will not endanger our own security."
The comment was made to Politico as part of its coverage of last week's International Industries Defense Forum in Kiev, during which the hosts went on a "charm offensive directed at weapons-makers," as explained in the report.
In a separate story on Tuesday, the outlet said that support for funding the Ukrainian government was "showing more cracks than ever."
The failure of the US Congress last week to allocate aid money in its stopgap budget, the election victory of former Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, who vowed to stop assistance to Ukraine on the campaign trail, and Kiev's ongoing diplomatic row with Poland all send "a chilling message."
The Ukrainian government expects to receive at least $42.8 billion from international donors next year, as outlined in its projected budget.
An expected fight over the EU's joint budget means that "no one dares to predict anything" at this point, a diplomatic source told the news outlet. Another diplomat said the "big elephant in the room" in Europe is the concern that Washington could abandon Ukraine.
The event in Kiev was part of its effort to ramp up domestic military production. Germany's Rheinmetall and the UK-based BAE have made some commitments to open production facilities in Ukraine. Kiev's goal is to become "an Israel in Europe - self-sufficient but with help from other countries," Daniel Vajdich, a Washington-based advocate for Ukraine, told Politico.
President Vladimir Zelensky floated the idea of paying for the proposed build-up with "confiscated Russian assets" when he spoke at the forum. Prime Minister Denis Shmygal indicated that the proposed plants would not be safe. He said 37 of Ukraine's own facilities have been damaged by Russian strikes.
Russian officials have stressed that foreign-funded arms manufacturing sites in Ukraine would be treated as legitimate military targets. Denis Pushilin, the head of the Donetsk People's Republic, reiterated the policy during an interview on Monday.