(PresidentialInsider.com)- The U.S. Department of State has given approval for three of our allies in NATO to immediately send weapons that were made in the U.S. as well as anti-armor missiles to Ukraine.
Politico reports that this is yet another sign that Western allies have a renewed sense of urgency in trying to ward off an invasion by Russia on multiple fronts.
Requests came in from Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia over the last few weeks, and three of those requests were approved on Wednesday, after being received just one day before that.
A Biden administration official told this information to Politico anonymously, because they weren’t at liberty to discuss this issue, which hasn’t yet been announced.
In addition to those requests, the United States will also start shipping ammunition, anti-armor missiles and other equipment that is valued at roughly $200 million to Ukraine. That will happen in the next few days.
Before they were able to transfer their own weapons to help Ukraine, those three countries had to obtain State Department approval. The anonymous official didn’t list the exact weapons that the State Department approved for transfer.
Speaking at a press conference earlier this week, President Joe Biden said:
“My guess is [Russian President Vladimir Putin] will move in [to Ukraine] … [though] I think he’ll regret having done it.”
Earlier in the week, an official with the State Department said the fact that Russian troops arrived in Belarus to carry out military exercises last weekend is now a new threat that’s being posed to Ukraine.
As the official said:
“Russia could intend to station troops in Belarus under the guise of joint military exercises in order to potentially attack Ukraine from the north.”
The other countries that are most threatened by Russia renewing its military push are the members of NATO in the Baltic region. All of them are former satellite states of the Soviet Union.
Because of this, they are looking to hurry up and send weapons over to Ukraine, while also getting more support from NATO forces to add to the number of forces already stationed within their countries.
On Tuesday, Senator Jim Risch from Idaho, the top Republican serving on the Foreign Relations Committee, said he was hoping that the State Department would give a quick approval for these weapons transfer licenses. He commented:
“We cannot let bureaucracy and the status quo keep us from doing what we must to get the Ukrainians what they need to defend themselves. Given the urgency of the situation, the Biden administration should find the political will and figure out how to work faster to move these export licenses.”
The process of doing so, though, is quite complex. In order for the United States to sign off on a third-party transfer of this kind, according to the Foreign Assistance Act, it has to determine that it would do the same exact transfer on its own if it were to decide to do so.