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Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States and allies are continuously considering whether there are more weapons and systems that can be provided to support Ukraine in its efforts to push back against Russia.
“We’re not going to let anything stand in the way of getting Ukrainians what they need and what we believe can be effective,” Blinken told reporters during a briefing on Thursday after a meeting of NATO foreign ministers.
He said weapons provided even before Russia’s invasion began have been critical in helping Ukraine mount fierce resistance.
“And since the aggression, we have repeatedly and continuously — along with many allies and partners — supplied them with the most effective systems we believe they need to deal with the armored vehicles, to deal with tanks, to deal with planes, to deal with helicopters,” he said. “We’re looking day in and day out at what we believe they most need, to include new systems that have not heretofore been provided.”
Ukrainian officials have been pointed in their requests to NATO to fast-track weaponry support. “The more weapons we get, and the sooner they arrive in Ukraine, the more human lives will be saved,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said before the NATO meeting.
Blinken was also asked about whether he is pressing European leaders for a more aggressive timeline on banning Russian oil and gas, particularly after a recent call from Kuleba to “stop financing Putin’s war machine.”
Blinken said he’s hearing a commitment from Europe to end Russian energy dependence.
“We’ve seen again and again Russia use energy as a weapon, as political leverage, and of course the proceeds it gets from the sale of its energy is now — yes — helping to fuel its aggression against Ukraine,” he said.
“But it’s not like flipping a light switch — you have to do it methodically. You have to put in place the necessary alternatives.”