No signs that weapons for Ukraine will be smuggled somewhere else, Pentagon says

16 July, 04:47 PM
Ukrainian soldiers use a Western-made howitzer (Photo:General Staff)

Ukrainian soldiers use a Western-made howitzer (Photo:General Staff)

There are no indications that military aid from Western partners for Ukraine would go anywhere other than fighting the Russians, Pentagon senior military official said during a briefing on July 15.

“We are not tracking weapons,” the US official said. “ And quite honestly, I mean, we feel pretty good that the Ukrainians are using the weapons that we've provided to them and have not seen any indications that those weapons have gone anywhere else other than to fight against the Russians.”

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On July 12, Financial Times published an article stating that NATO and EU countries are pushing for better tracking of weapons shipped to Ukraine in response to concerns that criminal gangs are smuggling them out of the country to the black market in Europe.

Citing two Western officials, FT says that a number of NATO member states are discussing with Kyiv some form of tracking system or detailed inventory lists of weapons supplied to Ukraine. Another source familiar with the situation said the Ukrainian government is building a more extensive weapons monitoring and tracing system with the help of Western countries.

At the same time, Defense Minister of Ukraine advisor Yuriy Sak assured that "any weapons movement both to Ukraine and from Ukraine - when such a movement is required for repairs - is very closely monitored and controlled by both Ukraine and our international partners".

The Financial Times also writes that the issue of illegal arms trafficking from Ukraine was discussed this week at a meeting of EU interior ministers. Also, Europol said in April that, according to an investigation, the weapons import from Ukraine to supply organized crime groups has begun and it poses a potential security threat to the EU.

Armed Forces of Ukraine Commander Valerii Zaluzhny said that Ukraine controls every piece of weapon that it uses on the battlefield.

Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said Ukrainians are interested in keeping all the $10 billion worth of weapons provided by Western allies, so there is no reason for the country to smuggle weapons.

Ukraine uses NATO software acquired in 2019 to monitor the assignment and use of weapons.

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