Ukraine Expresses Frustration with U.S. Lawmakers

( – Ukraine and some European countries were not shy about telling the United States that it’s not doing enough to pay for Ukraine’s defense against Russia at a meeting in Greece last week.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, the former Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski said Russia is “destroying Ukrainian power plants” and committing “war crimes” because the West as a whole is not giving Ukraine enough artillery to defend itself. On that day, Russia had just launched 80 missiles at Ukraine and successfully destroyed a power plant in the capital Kyiv.

Poland’s frustration may grow out of the fact that it is already hosting a million Ukrainian refugees and is anticipating more. Sikorski complained that the U.S. continues to promise more aid “next week,” but months have passed, and no more aid has materialized.

A member of Ukraine’s parliament lashed out at Europe collectively. Yulia Klymenko said European countries aren’t even making enough military equipment for their own needs, let alone Ukraine. She said the countries have discussed increasing production for two years, but nothing has happened. “It is looking very irresponsible,” she said.

Ben Hodges, once the commander of U.S. forces in Europe, said Russia is counting on winning because the U.S. is dragging its feet over Ukraine aid. He said it was time to “get rid of all these ridiculous excuses.”

U.S. citizens and lawmakers, of course, have a U.S.-based set of priorities and many are not interested in sending yet more armaments and U.S. tax dollars. Several bills that would send money or arms have stalled, some because they’re tied to aid packages that include other countries. Republican lawmakers have also objected to several bills that would send billions to the war-torn country while setting aside only a fraction of the same amount to stem the tide of illegal immigration at the southern U.S. border.

Charles Ries of the Rand Corporation thinks at least one of these bills might move forward soon. With the presidential primaries in the past, lawmakers may feel more able to vote on controversial bills now that lawmakers are not in danger of being replaced immediately.

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