The Biden administration will continue to provide significant military assistance to Ukraine “as fast as we can send it” for as its long as is necessary until Russia stops combat, National Security Council coordinator for strategic communication and retired Rear Admiral John Kirby told CNN on Thursday.
“They’re getting as much as we can send as fast as we can send it,” Kirby said, pointing to Biden’s conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin’s meeting with counterparts in Brussels earlier this week.
“So, we’re working this very, very hard,” he said, adding that assistance is getting in “at record speed” and the US is in “constant conversation” with Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin “has shown no inclination of stopping the combat” and negotiating in good faith, and until then, “We’re going to be committed to helping Ukraine’s armed forces defend themselves and try to take back the territory, particularly in the east, in the south, that they’re trying to take back now,” he added.
Kirby reiterated that the conflict with Russia “could be a prolonged effort” but said additional aid from Congress is not necessary at this stage.
“We’re not at a point right now where we believe, you know, we need to plan for another supplemental package. We’ve only just begun spending and producing off the supplemental package that they just approved,” he said.
Kirby had no update on the two missing Americans that have been fighting alongside Ukrainian forces.
“We just are not in a position to confirm their whereabouts. Obviously, our thoughts are with the families who I’m sure are going through just this terrible anguish right now. But we’re not able to confirm what might have happened to these individuals,” he said.
He stressed that Americans should not travel to Ukraine.
“It is a useful reminder though, and we’ve been saying this for months: this is not the time to go to Ukraine, however altruistic one might be wanting to help Ukraine on the battlefield. This is not the time for American citizens to travel there.Stay away from Ukraine, it is an active war zone. And if you’re in Ukraine as an American, please leave immediately,” Kirby said.
He instead encouraged people to support Ukraine through other ways, including contributing to organizations like the Red Cross.