Warner: Military equipment will be ‘in transit’ to Ukraine by next week if Biden signs bill

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, on Sunday said U.S. shipments of long-range missiles “will be in transit” to Ukraine next week as long as President Biden signs the foreign aid bill.

“I hope once the president signs, we’ve been told that there it is, the president’s signature, making sure Congress does its job that these materials will be in transit by the end of the week,” Warner said Sunday on CBS News’s “Face the Nation.”

“And on that schedule, what it will do is it’s clearly been the case that the Ukrainians’ morale has been great, but it’s been undermined over the last couple of months, when they have been literally given out rationed bullets, eight to 10 bullets a day,” he added. “And on artillery shells, Russians 10-to-1, you can’t underestimate that Ukrainians’ grit, determination, but if they don’t have the materials, they can’t carry this fight to the Russians.”

Warner noted it is written in the legislation that long-range ATACMS missiles will be given to Kyiv should the bill pass in the Senate and head to Biden’s desk.

“The ATACMS — I believe the administration was prepared over the last couple of months to prepare or to provide ATACMS. It is written into this legislation,” Warner said.

The House on Saturday passed a long-sought foreign aid package that includes about $61 billion for Ukraine, $26 billion for Israel and $8 billion for allies in the Indo-Pacific. It also includes a package of other national security measures, among those a potential ban on the TikTok app.

The package now heads to the Senate, which is expected to pass it in the middle of next week.

The package comes after months of warnings from the Biden administration that Ukraine will struggle against Russian forces without any supplemental aid passed by Congress. Sharp divisions among lawmakers have stalled aid from passing for more than a year, with mostly far-right lawmakers expressing concern about continuing to fund Ukraine.

Congress has not passed a Ukraine aid package since the end of 2022, and all available funds dried up around the end of 2023, leaving Kyiv in a perilous position with depleting air defenses and artillery, both crucial in the war.

Russia has advanced on the battlefield across eastern Ukraine, seizing the town of Avdiivka in February and threatening to seize Chasiv Yar in the Donetsk region.

Warner on Sunday argued the U.S. needs to be “prepared” for its own national security interests and pointed to Russia’s links to China, Iran and potentially North Korea.

“I know the terminology used to be ‘Axis of Evil,’ this may be the 2024 Axis of Evil combination of nations,” he said.

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