Kiev could reportedly be left without new American shells and improved howitzers if Congress doesn’t reach a budget deal
Ukrainian soldiers fire a M777 howitzer in eastern Ukraine, November 23, 2022. © Anatolii Stepanov / AFP
A looming cut to Pentagon appropriations could throw a wrench in US military aid to Ukraine, including artillery and ammunition, Politico magazine reported on Saturday, citing Department of Defense internal documents and officials familiar with the matter.
Congress has until December 16 to pass a full-year defense stopgap bill, known as a continuing resolution, or a CR, as Republicans and Democrats debate appropriations. However, the resolution would cut Pentagon funding by $29 billion, or 3.7%, compared to what the White House requested for fiscal year 2023, according to the report. This means that the Department of Defense would have to put a halt to key projects, including aid to Kiev during its conflict with Russia.
Michael McCord, the Pentagon’s chief financial officer, was quoted as saying on Saturday that the US would have problems sending new munitions to Ukraine as the funds marked by Kiev would run out in spring.
It was said that the slash in spending could also delay improvements for several major weapon systems, such as the M777 howitzer, which is being supplied by the US to Ukrainian troops.