However, he noted, the United States helped move parts, but not deliver entire planes.
“Without going into what other countries have said, I would say that they (Ukrainians) have received additional platforms and parts so that they can increase the size of their aircraft fleet,” Kirby told a news conference. He added that as a result of this assistance, Ukraine has had aircraft for more than two weeks. He also noted that the United States helped move some, but not all, planes.
Referring to Wednesday’s visit by the Chief of the Ministry of National Defense Marius Pasachak, and the meeting with the head of the Pentagon, Lloyd Austin, the spokesman announced that the situation in Ukraine and military aid would be one of the main topics of the talks. Austin will also discuss this with the Czech Defense Minister on Thursday. The official also stated that he is not currently holding detailed talks about the future permanent deployment of US forces in Europe.
“We are having initial discussions here in this building about what our long-term deployment should be, and we would be foolish not to, given the changing security situation in Europe,” Kirby said. “But when it comes to detailed negotiations with other countries about where to rotate the forces and where they should be permanent or what the numbers are, we are not there yet,” he added.
Asked why military aid to Ukraine is arriving “in pieces,” Kirby assessed that each package is tailored to the current needs of Ukraine’s armed forces and the nature of the fighting, as well as Ukraine’s ability to accept them. He added that the United States was in constant contact with Ukraine on Kyiv’s needs.
Asked about the situation in Russia’s besieged Mariupol, where Ukrainian forces are defending themselves on the premises of the Azovstal plant, a ministry spokesman said the fall of the city should not be an imposed consequence.
– Of course, the Ukrainians want to keep Mariupol (…) and are fighting boldly for it. I wouldn’t speculate how long it would last, and frankly we’re not inclined to accept what some critics say collapse is inevitable.
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