The Pentagon is reportedly pushing Kiev to adopt a conservative military strategy to save resources
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky met Christopher Cavoli, the top general in the US European Command (EUCOM) and the most senior NATO military leader, during a trip to Germany on Thursday.
Zelensky, who arrived in Germany on the last leg of his foreign tour this week, met Cavoli at the Lucius D. Clay Kaserne, previously known as Wiesbaden Air Base, a major military facility that serves as EUCOM HQ as well as a logistics hub for NATO’s weapons deliveries to Kiev.
According to EUCOM, Cavoli and the Ukrainian leader discussed the latest drawdown of Pentagon resources authorized by US President Joe Biden when Zelensky visited Washington on Tuesday.
The $200 million package pales in comparison to the $61.4 billion that the White House has asked the US Congress to approve as part of a $110 billion foreign security package. Republican lawmakers have blocked the funding, despite the Biden administration and Ukrainian officials claiming it is essential for Kiev’s survival in the conflict with Russia.
Reporting on his visit to the Wiesbaden base on social media, Zelensky praised the “excellent quality of US military aid” and said he expects US lawmakers to allocate more funds “soon.”
The US House of Representatives, however, entered Christmas recess on Thursday, rejecting calls from the White House to remain in Washington for another week of negotiations. Consequently, any decision on further Ukraine aid is unlikely to come before January 9, when lawmakers are expected to return.
Western aid has been jeopardized following Ukraine’s failure to record significant territorial gains during its six-month counteroffensive against Russia. The New York Times reported this week that Washington is pushing Kiev to adopt a new, more conservative military strategy for 2024.
Commander Cavoli has recently taken on a larger role in coordinating with Ukraine, while Lt. Gen. Antonio A. Aguto Jr. has been picked by the Pentagon to work more directly with Ukrainian military leadership “to improve the advice the United States is offering,” the NYT said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin remarked during his marathon Q&A session with the media and general public on Thursday that Ukraine was wasting its elite forces in futile attempts to gain ground on the left bank of the Dnieper River.
“I’ll say this directly: we benefit from their mindless sending of troops there. Unfortunately, that is the logic of armed struggle,” Putin said. The Russian president believes the approach to be political and meant as a way of facilitating foreign trips by the leadership in Kiev “to beg for additional money.”