Ukraine FM: 'My agenda is very simple: Weapons, weapons, weapons'
Ukraine still seeks arms from the West against Russia as part of the ongoing war, with Kiev's foreign minister demanding "all weapons it needs."
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Thursday called on NATO to provide arms to Kiev, demanding "all weapons it needs" in its war with Russia.
Kuleba's demand was far from discreet. He asked for NATO arms to "help" with a crisis sparked by the alliance itself.
"My agenda is very simple. It has only three items on it. Its weapons, weapons, and weapons," he said from Brussels, NATO's headquarters.
He also called on Ukraine's Western allies to "put aside their hesitations, their reluctance, to provide Ukraine with everything it needs," during a meeting with his NATO counterparts.
Kuleba, while asking for help, did not shy away from criticizing Germany and other allies that were "reluctant" to send offensive arms to Kiev, saying Berlin "[could] do more," although Europe's biggest economy has been providing arms to Ukraine for a while now, sending 2,000 anti-tank weapons to the country just this late March.
"This distinction between defensive and offensive doesn't make any sense when it comes to the situation in my country," Kuleba said, in what seemed like an attempt to convince Germany to back down from its position that it would not send offensive arms to countries at war.
Nations helping Ukraine were put on blast as well, with Kiev's foreign minister calling them "hypocritical" over their supply of defensive arms to Ukraine, such as anti-tank and anti-aircraft systems. "This is simply [an] unfair, unjustified approach," Kuleba added.
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said he was certain that allies would "address the need for more air defense systems, anti-tank weapons, lighter, but also heavier weapons, and many different types of support to Ukraine."
The West as a whole, and the US specifically, have been providing arms to Ukraine even before the war started. The Pentagon announced Friday it was giving out a package of arms worth some $300 million to Ukraine. The defense body detailed that the package would include military equipment ranging from laser-guided rocket systems to armored Humvees and drones.
In light of regional tensions, Washington in February permitted sending $350 million worth of military aid to Ukraine, which is the largest arms package in US history.
That's not all: The United States has been providing military training to Ukrainian troops, including on how to use equipment provided by Washington itself.
NATO had made the same contribution, training "tens of thousands" of Ukrainian soldiers that are currently on the frontlines against Russia. "We have to remember that NATO allies, like the United States, but also the United Kingdom and Canada and some others... they have trained Ukrainian troops for years," alliance Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said.
The US government has provided Ukraine with $2.3 billion in security assistance since President Joe Biden took office last January, including thousands of anti-tank and anti-aircraft missile systems.
In parallel, the European Union has agreed to send $500 million worth of arms and equipment to Kiev, and Ukraine nonetheless still urged the West to boost its military capabilities.
Roughly 70% of that aid was provided or obligated after the war in Ukraine broke out in late February.
Despite the constant aid from the West, the Ukrainian army is still suffering major defeats at the hands of the Russian armed forces.
Russia had launched a special military operation in Ukraine due to NATO's eastward expansion, the Ukrainian shelling of Donbass, and the killing of the people of the Donetsk People's Republic and Lugansk People's Republic, in addition to Moscow wanting to "denazify" and demilitarize Ukraine.