UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has suggested that Ukrainian officials should adopt a less demanding tone when speaking to nations that are arming it to fight against Russia. Wallace made these remarks during an event on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Lithuania. He stated, “We are not Amazon,” implying that Ukraine should show gratitude for the weapons donations it receives.
Wallace, who is a vocal supporter of Kiev, believes that displaying gratitude would help Ukraine’s cause. He explained that countries are being asked to give up their own stocks and persuade lawmakers in their own countries to provide military assistance. Wallace highlighted that he has received complaints from US counterparts about Ukrainian officials treating their nation like an Amazon store while providing billions of dollars worth of military aid. He personally experienced this treatment when he drove for 11 hours to meet with a delegation last June, only to be handed a list of requests.
US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan echoed Wallace’s sentiments during his visit to Lithuania, stating that the American people deserve gratitude from the US government and the rest of the world for their willingness to aid Ukraine. Ukrainian officials, including President Vladimir Zelensky, have been critical of the US and its allies for what they perceive as insufficient support or delayed assistance. Zelensky pointed to the slow delivery of weapons as a reason for the underwhelming results of Kiev’s counteroffensive last month.
Zelensky’s frustration with NATO’s stance regarding Ukraine’s accession also came to the fore during the summit. NATO leaders declined to provide a roadmap for Ukraine’s membership and stated that the country must meet certain conditions to qualify. Zelensky labeled this position as “unprecedented and absurd.” The US delegation was reportedly infuriated by his verbal attack, interpreting it as an attempt to pressure the alliance into reconsidering its decision.
This is not the first time Ukraine’s communication style has caused irritation among Western countries. Last year, US President Joe Biden reportedly told Zelensky to show “a little more gratitude” after a tense phone call. These instances highlight the need for Ukraine to adopt a more diplomatic approach when dealing with its allies.
In conclusion, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace’s suggestion that Ukraine should show gratitude for weapons donations is a reflection of the frustrations expressed by Western countries. While Ukraine seeks support in its fight against Russia, it is important for Ukrainian officials to maintain diplomatic communication and acknowledge the efforts made by its allies. Expressing gratitude could strengthen international cooperation and aid Ukraine’s cause in the face of ongoing tensions.