Biden, NATO Should Beef Up Ukraine Air Defense, Lawmakers Say

An increasing number of bipartisan members of the House Intelligence Committee called on President Biden to collaborate with allied forces.

They want this to happen in order to provide extra aviation and air-defense systems to Ukraine in front of the NATO conference in Brussels next week. 

The group calls on Biden to work with allies to provide additional aircraft and air-defense systems to Ukraine. 

The Letter

Members of Congress (including House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, ranking member Mike Turner, and Reps. Brad Wenstrup, Jim Himes, Raja Krishnamoorthi, and Chris Stewart) renewed their call for Ukraine to have the warplanes it needs to fight back against Russia’s constant attacks.

In doing this, they were echoing a sentiment expressed in a letter sent to President Biden on March 7. 

In a message to President Biden, the members of Congress implored him to continue working with its NATO allies to give the Ukrainian Air Force more military equipment, especially the aircraft necessary for defending its skies.

According to the statement, “President Zelenskyy’s address to the Senate and House of Representatives yesterday emphasized the continuous and urgent necessity for this support.” 

“As many predicted at the start of the war, Ukraine maintained its capacity to prevent Russia’s ability to fly in its skies without repercussions.”

“Despite the loss of many aircraft, Ukrainian aviation has continued to bravely provide aerial support for ground forces and protect Ukrainian land, while anti-aircraft systems are still in service,” they said in the letter. 

“The war in Ukraine is still going on and Russia’s cruelty is rising.”

“We believe the United States should collaborate with our NATO allies to supply the Ukrainian Air Force with increased airpower to keep defending its skies.” 

Donations and Pledges

President Biden revealed an extra $800 million in military aid for Ukraine on Wednesday, just hours after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made an emotional plea for more aid.

Meanwhile, the group emphasized the United States and its allies must collaborate with the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense “to recognize armaments systems and help make a strategic and tactical difference” in the fight against Russian aggression. 

The Congress members urged an immediate response, but they also highlighted the United States must be strategic in its measures to avoid a confrontation with Russia. 

“More than $15 billion in military and humanitarian assistance has been pledged by the United States to Ukraine over the last year to maintain its territorial integrity. We welcome the efforts made thus far, but the work is not completed,” they stated. 

“As we stand together in support of Ukraine’s democracy and sovereignty, we must move quickly to convert the aircraft and air-defense systems that Ukraine needs, making sure we don’t get into a direct fight with a dangerous Russia,” the authors said.