Certain nations have been providing military aid to Kiev despite publicly denying doing so, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba claimed on Friday.
In such cases, the arms are delivered through third parties, he said.
Kuleba made the remarks in an interview with France’s Le Parisien newspaper.
“Most of these third countries publicly say that they do not supply anything, but everything is happening behind the scenes,” he said without going into specifics about which nations are purportedly secretly bolstering Kiev during its conflict with Moscow.
Kuleba’s comments come amid mounting reports that Ukraine’s backers, including a number of NATO countries, are experiencing shortages of weaponry due to their continuous support for Kiev.
According to a recent piece by the New York Times, for instance, only “larger” NATO allies, such as France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands, still retain the capability to maintain or even potentially increase weapon shipments to Ukraine.
“Smaller countries have exhausted their potential,” a NATO official told the newspaper, adding that at least 20 of the bloc’s 30 members are “pretty tapped out” already.
Since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine in late February, the US and its Western allies have showered Kiev with billions of dollars in military aid. Moscow has repeatedly warned the West against “pumping” Ukraine with weaponry, stating that it would only prolong the conflict rather than change its outcome, and would also increase the risks of a direct collision between Russia and the US-led military bloc.
Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”
In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.
This autumn, four formerly Ukrainian territories, the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, were incorporated into Russia following referendums.