Washington could send Kyiv weapons and impose new sanctions on Russia within the next two or three months, former US ambassador to Ukraine John Herbst told Radio Liberty in an interview.
“Within 2-3 months we will see the US giving Kyiv weapons and announcing new sanctions against Russia in connection with this aggression [in the Kerch Strait]. I think that, in the course of the next 8-10, or at most 12 weeks, this more forceful US response will appear. And, in addition to the sanctions, this will be military assistance for Ukraine,” he said.
According to Herbst, recent developments have given the US sufficient arguments to supply Ukraine with anti-ship missiles, patrol boats and other military equipment.
“The US has enough Harpoon cruise missiles, mostly the result of technologies developed 30 years ago. And this is what we can already make available now. Perhaps even more modern missiles,” the former ambassador noted.
According to him, Ukraine has already done a lot to strengthen its defense in the east, and should “now think about reinforcing its defense in the south, especially in the Sea of Azov region. Perhaps even in the Odessa region”.
Among the sanctions which the US could impose, Herbst mentioned restrictions on the largest Russian bank, or a ban on Russian ships entering American ports.
Previously it was reported that the US would soon announce new arms shipments to Ukraine. In the 2019 financial year, Washington has allocated $250 million to military assistance to Ukraine, including lethal defensive weapons.