‘We need it to be faster,’ says Ukraine’s ambassador about arms shipments

The Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S. urged American leaders on Sunday to speed up shipments of arms and aid to the country as it struggles to defend against the Russian military.

“There is no such thing as fast enough when we are up against such a bad enemy, and we have to catch up for a long pause,” Ambassador Oksana Markarova said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” with Margaret Brennan. “We need it to be faster.”

Ukrainian leaders waited for months with bated breath as Congress debated the latest package of aid for the war-torn country. The $61 billion package ended a months-long stalemate that divided House Republicans.

Russian forces have gained momentum in Ukraine in recent months as American and European supplies dwindle. Airstrikes have stepped up on the front lines and on major cities such as Kharkiv, the country’s second largest.

Air defense systems are the greatest need for Ukraine, Markarova said.

“We’re very grateful to those who are providing us with their systems,” she said. “We’re grateful to the U.S. for looking for them, allowing them, funding some of them, but we need more, and it’s time to literally take some brave decisions and provide us with more of this so we can see them right away, where we need them.”

The comments come as Ukraine urges the U.S. to allow it to use American-made weapons on Russian soil, a hard line set as a condition of aid. Much of the attacks against Kharkiv originate in Russia, and Ukraine has been prevented from landing strikes inside Russia using American weapons out of an American fear of escalation in the conflict.

“It’s like if somebody were to attack Washington, D.C., from the Virginia state, and you say we’re not going to hit Virginia for some reason,” Ukrainian lawmaker David Arahamiya said last week during a visit to Washington.

Markarova did not go as far as Arahamiya but signaled that there have been discussions over lifting the restrictions.

“We are defending ourselves, whether we are striking Russian troops on our territory or Russian troops outside of our territory. And we have been trying to do that,” she said. “But of course there were some restrictions.”

“Now I will not go publicly into discussions — where we are on discussions with either U.S. or any of our other partners,” she continued. “But I just want to say that it’s clear that Russia is an aggressor here.”

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