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Ernst, Gillibrand, Bipartisan Senators Ask White House to Clarify U.S. Mission in Ukraine, Provide Answers on Speed and Specifics of Lethal Aid

Over one month since the beginning of Putin’s unjust war on Ukraine and following a bipartisan Senate delegation visit to Poland and Germany, U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) are leading a bipartisan group of senators requesting answers from President Biden’s national security advisor (NSA), Jake Sullivan, on the speed, specifics, and supply of lethal aid provided to Ukraine.

 Ernst and Gillibrand are joined on the letter by U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Susan Collins (R-Maine), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Angus King (I-Maine), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.).

 While in Poland, Ernst, Gillibrand, and their bipartisan group heard directly from members of the Ukrainian civil society who passionately stated the lethal aid is flowing too slowly and that the sovereign country needs more specific lethal aid to win the war. Following the bipartisan trip, Ernst, Gillibrand, and their colleagues are pushing the administration for answers on what they have provided thus far and what more America and our allies can provide to Ukraine to win the war.  

 In their letter to NSA Sullivan, the senators write: “We request a timely response to these questions detailing your provisions, risk assessments, and strategy to enable Ukraine to defeat Vladimir Putin and return to sovereignty and freedom.

 1.     A list of all lethal and nonlethal aid provided to date and status of delivery or estimated delivery to Ukraine.

2.     A list of all equipment purchased or allocated for the Afghanistan Security Forces Fund that remains within U.S. stocks or control, and an assessment of the feasibility to provide such equipment to Ukraine.

3.     A complete list of all Army Pre-positioned Stock (APS) or Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) stocks in Europe by item and location.

4.     An analysis of available equipment within allied and partner nations that could be procured or transferred to Ukraine and subsequently backfilled with NATO equipment.

5.     A list of equipment, production capacity, and war reserve inventories the United States is capable of delivering to backfill to NATO members who have provided capabilities to Ukraine.”

 Ernst and her colleagues conclude by writing“The U.S. mission in Ukraine must go beyond ensuring the country merely has the means to defend itself against Russian aggression. The strategy must deliver Ukraine necessary weapons to defend itself, counter the Russian forces’ advance, and give the Ukrainian people a chance to win this war. Success cannot be a Russian-occupied Ukraine – it must be a free, independent, and sovereign Ukraine. Authoritarianism cannot prevail in this conflict. Defending freedom in Ukraine is defending freedom everywhere. We anxiously await your response.”

 To read the full letter, click here.

 For more on the bipartisan CODEL to Poland and Germany, click here.

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